For compact cameras, I usually buy Canon. I would advise you to get a IXUS for style and fuction and the powershot for more functions, but less style. Nikon doesn't make really good compacts and Panasonic's Noise control is bad. It's lenses are good though.
I have used 2 Pana PNS since 5years ago. My first L1 & FZ3 were good camera if you are into day shooting & telezoom. But the noise start to appear when u try to increase the ISO for night shot or indoor shoot. Build quality for Pana cameras are OK.