Independent testing shows the 300 HS to have only marginally more shutter delay than the SD600; 0.54 seconds vs. 0.39 seconds at the widest lens setting. To my knowledge the fastest on the market are the Nikon S8100/9100. Tested numbers are best case scenario though. If a camera can't lock focus, a fast shutter response won't mean anything.
I recently purchased the Canon 300 hs and it does not fit my needs as well as I hoped. I love the HD quality video and the zooming feature. However the big bust for me is the shutter lag. There seems to be at least a 2 second delay when taking pictures of my son. My old camera - the canon SD600 did not have much of a delay at all.
So my question is as you may have guessed - what is the best point and shoot camera on the market with the least delay? I would like to stay under $300.