FWIW I just went through the same dilema, I ended up with the Fuji f30, my shortlist also had the canon 800IS and the panasonic FX series, however i also declined on the larger optical zoom as they are still in their infancy unless you go to SLR and I wanted a compact. IS does not freeze the subject unfortunatly so may not be worth as much as you are paying for it.
I am still in play mode so I can't say to much, but there was so little to choose between them I decided $550 of camera in my pocket snowboarding was not going to happen, I liked the fuji and the battery life is truely amazing. Canon snobs
stick with the brand and for a good reason, there quite simply very good, unlike some offerings from other companys who may produce one good camera and use that to carry the rest of the range. Sorry but that probably does not help much.