Ill stay on the subject here and still answer a couple of post I saw..
It always makes me laugh when I see people that say "Content" is the key or that you can take great shots with a pinhole camera. that is true when professionally speaking... But some people have no idea about "content", the rule
of thirds, lighting
or even what half the buttons do on a camera.
D40,70,80,200,300 all have pretty much the same sensor, the difference is in the buttons and functions, a d200 or 300 you see the button and press it, on the other models you have to press a series of buttons to get your desired function. most digital cameras all have the same functions but the Nikon product has some awesome features that most "Hobbyist" wont know about.
Those "Automatic" functions on cheaper cameras SUCK, the reality of of all is that you have to tell the camera what you want in order for it to shoot what "Your" eyes see.
IF YOU PAID 5 BUCKS FOR IT EXPECT THE SAME QUALITY OF PHOTOS. unless of course you understand the particular cameras strong and weak points. If the camera shoots well in low light or the white balance always leans towards the warmer side etc...
If you just want to point and shoot but still get good results you need a good camera and decent glass. I have never liked the canon line but the glass is great, If you buy a Canon or Nikon stick with Canon or Nikon Glass. If you buy that cheaper glass expect some really soft crappy shots. Unless of course you want that effect.
What you will be using your camera for is what really needs to be considered here. it would be rude and out of pocket to suggest you get the cheapest "waterproof" camera on the market if you plan on submitting to magazines. I've shot with a 30,000 dollar hasselblad with a digital back for magazine shoots, mostly Medium format stuff. but that would be over kill for the blogger,Facebook, Twitter crowd.
Bottom line.. Nikon or Canon with the corresponding glass, 50mm 85mm 150mm and a 300mm for those great Dolphin shots.... thats a nice rounded bag! add a monopod,rubber and waterproof enclosure ... if you want to really dazzle um add a flash and that should be good for any CRUISER bag. If you are in fact in the "BUSINESS" then you wouldn't need the advice from this thread anyways.
also dont count out the old iPhone
for some kool flicks. I use it for my backup camera and also have the Navionics charts
for a GPS
which also uploads pictures and your position to facebook.