The Panasonic DMC FZ50 is a 10 megapixel camera with a focal range of 35-420 that has good reviews. The lense is by Lumix.
I used the FZ20 - an earlier version - up until last Fall and found the colours coming out it to be fabulous and frankly, better than my more expensive Nikon D80.
As an all-electronic camera, the Panasonic is basically an alternative to getting a single lens reflex digital where you have to change lenses.
Price is about $800 to $900 and by the time you get a couple of filters, cards, better battery, etc you're probably in the $1000-$1100 area.
The resolution at 420 mm on the camera will be somewhat dodgy, although functional . . . . but you could say the same thing about the cheaper lenses you can get for a Nikon or Canon.
I currently use a Nikon D80 . . . . but I still use my Panasonic on occasion and I'll be taking the Panasonic to Italy in a few weeks as a lighter travel camera.
All of the pictures at this link were taken with the Panasonic.
Again, I use a Nikon D80 and with my lenses, batteries, filters, cards, etc, I'm currently kitted out at about $2,700. I'll be adding some upgraded, more specialty lenses later in the year, probably adding another $2,000 to the kit.
So . . . . . consider how much you want to spend on an SLR or whether or not you want the all-in-one kind of option I mentioned above.