I just picked up the Kodak Z981 about a week ago and so far I am impressed with it. I want to get a DSLR but figured something like this is better to start on. So far I love it and it's pretty simple to use. Many place's have this 400. camera on sale right now from like 170.-250.
I am hoping in a year I can get a Nikon....but we will see.
If anyone has any questions I will do my best to answer them or at least point you in the right direction.