I've noticed that people who primarily seek IQ from these little P&S generally declare the S90/95 as "the one".
I'm different in that I can't understand looking to them for IQ. Im my case I think the only things about them that make them worth having are their form factor and their ruggedness. These days with the Pen, GF1/2 or the NEX models being about the same size and yet totally snuffing all compacts in IQ, there's just no point considering IQ when looking at compacts - they're all damn close to each other anyway. So if I were to shop for a compact these days my requirements would be like:
- Can be dropped in a pool and not die,
- Can be sat on and survive,
- Can be dropped and not burst into parts,
- Can be left in the sun on my car's dashboard for a week and not melt, change color, or stop working perfectly,
- Can be left in the car for a week in sub-zero temps or dropped in the snow,
- Looks cool and sporty,
- Looks as good as the next one (IQ).
And to that end I like these OK:
LUMIX TS3 is Waterproof, Shockproof, Freezeproof, Dustproof, and Adds
Full-HD Video Recording, a New 3D Photo Mode and
Easy Facebook and YouTube Uploads.
Pentax Optio W90 rugged compact waterproof digital compact camera
designed for worry-free underwater photo-shooting,
with a "Digital Microscope" mode.
Olympus "Tough 8010": Shockproof to 2m, waterproof to 10m,
crushproof to 100kg freezeproof to -10°C and scratchproof
Casio EX-G1 shock-resistant, waterproof, dustproof, Freezeproof etc.
848 x 480 (30 fps) movies, and so on.
Canon PowerShot D10 Waterproof (to 10m), shockproof (1.22m),
freeze-proof (-10°C), dust-proof digital camera
For me, again, selecting a P&S these days doesn't include looking very closely at noise issues, RAW abilities, or color accuracy and etc.. We have Pen, GF, and NEX that cream all of them so badly it's not funny - and which are easily pocketable or purse-able with a pancake lens or whatever. Of these I would probably go for the Pentax or the Canon. When I read the reviews they out-performed the others in several significant ways IIRC.