Sony Alpha a550 review
Thankfully the a550 adopts a proper DSLR-like grip, unlike the poor a380 and a230's lack of any surmountable grip, so it feels good in the hand.
Modes such as in-camera HDR and expanded D-Range Optimiser will afford creative photographers more possibilities, as will the addition of higher-sensitivity to ISO 12,800. However, whilst the brand has been touting this high-ISO to be groundbreaking, it's more an improvement over Alphas of old, the upper echelons of ISO sensitivity actually proving to be too noisy for most people's use.
The tilt-angle LCD adds a new dimension to creative framing, though the continued lack of a video mode may isolate some new buyers looking for a stills and video hybrid.
Give it a couple of months and the price should drop to be a touch more competitive, and then the a550 will be quite the competitor to consider.