I agree that Nikon is a solid brand, just haven't seen their digital line yet.
Without question, they're up to date with the current technological trends, and I'm sure that I will be nothing less than impressed if I ever take one for a test drive.
The Nikon Coolpix 4500 is a really good compact and reasonably inexpensive camera (US $599). I've a friend studied digital photography at university uses this camera. I've seen his work, and it is very awesome.