After trying the Canon PowerShot A570s, we went with the Canon PowerShot SD1000s. People seem to be quite happy with them.
This is from a request for digital camera suggestions on the NYCIST listserv:
I was wondering if anyone has a recommendation for a digital camera for classroom use that:
1. is responsive when you press the shutter
2. has a rechargable battery with some staying power
3. doesn't cost an arm and a leg
A number of you like the Canon PowerShot cameras (A and SD series) and the Canon Rebel XT SLR. (I have a PowerShot SD230 Digital Elph that I have always liked as well; the shutter speed is rather slow, but it is 3+ years old now.)
The Nikon Coolpix L10 got a vote, as did the Nikon D40. According to the recommended website http://www.steves-digicams.com, J.D. Power and Associates recently ranked the Nikon D series highest in customer satisfaction with digital SLR cameras.
One vote for the Leica C-Lux-2.
Another useful site was recommended: http://www.dpreview.com.