Most of those smaller cameras just dont have the ability to get good shots because they are so small. For 1 anything in low light that requires a flash forget it. The flash on them is so small its like a smot light it just doesnt spread the light out good. BUT they are small and portable. Best for outdoors in good lighting.
I would sugest the canon A6xx series, the A610-A640 i have 2 now and these cameras are really good. The image quality is super. The flash is still a bit small but better then the SD series. They are a tad larger because they use 4AA batteries but that helps the speed from shot to shot and also helps the flash refresh times. IMO this camera is hard to beat for its size and peformance.
at the moment, i own a sony cybershot dsc-t5, and the image quality is fairly poor, to be honest. slight low-light produces very grainy shots, anything darker is unworkable, and redeye is constant. on a recent trip out west, i ended up using my girlfriend's powershot s60 the whole trip since it was simply producing the only good photos.
i'll be going into europe to join her in a few days where i'll be for several months, and i'm looking for a solid compact camera to take with me. i can spend as much as 300 bucks, maybe 350.
i've been doing my own looking around, but i don't have much time left so any suggestions to get me looking in the right direction are appreciated.