I want to clarify my intended usage for a digicam - not just for blogging my Kyoto trip, but also the intended use afterwards. My main usage will be: 1. taking print-quality still photos of vacations, trips, etc. 2. taking small video of my daughter for email and posting to the web for my family, 3. taking archival video of family events for burning to DVD, 4. casual "impulse" photography of sunsets, clouds, burning fires in downtown Houston, etc. and 5. "window seat" pictures from airplanes.
This means that I could settle for as low as 2 megapixels (1600x1200), which is about the right size for printing to an 8x10 sheet of paper (someone please correct me if I am mistaken). Also, since video ranks high up on my priorities, it occurs to me that I'm coming ath the problem from the wrong end. Perhaps what I need to look for is a video camera with stils-capability, not a stills-camera with video capability (clearly, the market for true combo devices is not mature).
A casual query through Amazon reveals the Canon Optura 300, which uses MiniDV tapes, but also does support MMC cards and MPEG-4. I need to look into this kind of device more, but there's a major problem: the price is way above my threshold. This approach seems to be a non-starter (I have no illusions that a UNMEDIA Donations Drive would bring me all that much cash :)