I have a Panasonic FZ100 super zoom and it's good but if I had to do it again I would probably spend the extra couple of hundred for a digital SLR. The size of the glass on cameras that don't allow changing lens makes aperture generally useless, shutter opening is too small to allow "soft" focus for background.
I bought the Panasonic for specific features like it's burst speed to take pictures of dog agility.
Do like second camera small enough to fit in a jacket or shirt pocket, compact but not the ultra small. Much easier to take along. Still use my Canon Powershot A75 which took this picture from a dockside bar with family, would not have been lugging a "good" camera with me there.