|Well, after much probing, researching, questioning, and (ultimately) obsessing, I finally bought a new camera.
My requirement was a large zoom at a price under $500 basically to replace my failed Olympus 2100.
I chose the Konica Minolta z5. After looking at that one and the Panasonic FZ5 side-by-side, it was no contest. Thanks to all those who advised me to "touch" all the cameras i'm considering.
I ordered it from J&R for $389, no tax and free shipping. It arrived today.
I'll get back to this forum with my first impressions after I play with it this weekend.