You need to know what size camera you really want.
If you are looking for an ultra-thin camera (less than 1.1 inch thick), it will be a point-and-shoot camera. The Canon S410 or S500 is where you should start looking. Owners are reporing very sharp photos with this little camera.
Cameras with more features will be slightly bigger. The Canon A80 (just replaced by the A95) is typical of the size of small cameras with manual override capabilities.
Check out the size of the S500 and A95 and see which fits your idea of a camera that you can carry anywhere. Go to a camera store and get your hands on both. You don't have to buy, just try it on for size.
I am about to venture in to the world of digital cameras and would like to know which cameras would suit my purpose from people with experience.
I am in the UK and would like a camera which is small so that I can carry it anywhere, has a wide range of abilities and has a quality which will last and produce high quality pictures. A camera that looks good would be an added bonus. My budget is about