The HX9V's shooting options for both photos and movies are plentiful, going from fully automatic point-and-shoot to full manual with control over shutter speed and aperture. There's a lot to play with here, making it a good option for anyone who would like something that's equal parts gadget and camera.
If you can afford it, the D7000 is a great gift for any creative photographer. Its combination of design, feature set, performance, and photo quality is hard to beat, especially as a gift for a Nikon shooter who wants something a bit better.
If your budget stretches to about $400, the PowerShot S95's full set of manual controls and excellent low-light photo quality make it a can't-miss ultracompact gift choice for advanced photographers, as long as they don't shoot a lot of action. By the time you read this it may have been superceded by the more expensive and feature-rich S100, but the S95 remains a solid gift buy.
If you know someone who's been complaining that her point-and-shoot (or phone) isn't fast enough, good enough, or flexible enough, this camera is the perfect next step. It's relatively compact, but delivers SLR-quality photos and speed in the interface and design she's used to.
With excellent photo quality, better continuous-shooting performance than a lot of the dSLRs in its price range, and solid autofocus behavior during video capture, the Sony Alpha SLT-A35 has a lot to recommend it as a step up from a point-and-shoot.