I decided on a Cannon PowerShot A540 that I purchased at Target. $189.00 for the camera and $49.00 for the 1-gig memory chip. Total cost: $256.32 with tax; (no discounts or rebates)
The software and hardware allows me to take hundreds of pictures, plug into my front port of my PC, and instantly view them in a user friendly program.
While I'm sure there were probably other cameras out there that have comparable quality at the same price, so far I am pleased with the choice.Also, I became quite frustrated with attempting to purchase online. While the discounts were deeper by around $30 to $50, it did not seem like it was worth the wait in filling out rebate forms, shipping forms, and waiting perhap a full week for a $250 dollar purchase. Staples offered the same camera to me in an online email for $179 plus a free gig of memory, BUT every time I attempted to make this purchase, it would send me to a broken link or to another site with NO DEAL. (They will hear from me after the first of the year, when I have "petty" time)
Merry Christmas to All!