If you really want to add something - Sigma has their DX sensors in their compacts. Great IQ to 800 but they have always suffered above that and with software and clunky user controls. I always have liked the "look" of the images it produces though.
I know many are always complaining about price, but to be realistic, the cheap compacts are/will for the most part go away. Cellphones have taken over that market and the sales of cheap compacts have had a steady drop year over year. Everything left will be in the $350-500-800 range.
I actually used my G11 (10mp) (sorry I said above it was a G12 - goes to show how much I use it) this weekend looking at "Open Houses". To me, that is what these cameras are good for. Stuff that taking a DSLR would be a pain, or even weird, really in the way, and when you need a good focal range where DOF doesn't matter. Being so use to "controls" the cheaper compacts drive me batty as usually I just want to change exposure down a notch and on cheaper systems it is burred in menus.
For what it is, it works really, really well and it's IQ has held up to the $300 dollar compacts of today almost 3 years after I got it. Maybe not at +1600, but 80-800, it is still great.
That's what $500+ compacts are - Great IQ, usability similar to DSLRs, and you don't need a new one for 3-5 years. In my mind, I like to buy something like this that is a bit more, but I can get 4 years out of without feeling the need to upgrade it. And if I want to do something really unique, where I know hot to set a DSLR, I can use basically the same settings for it.
Not that I am in the market, but I am interested in that Panasonic with it's 10mp sensor. I hate seeing companies add tons of MP with almost zero resolution or IQ gain. It just means they are combining more pixels to try to get an image. If a small camera's files get to close to the same size of my D800, that is just ridiculous.
If someone actually came out with a 10mp, pocket-able $500 digi cam that can do 6400 B&W well and amazing low noise 100-800 and modest 1600-3200, I would seriously look at that.