I realise there are many posts but I wanted to specifically state the type of scenes I will be photographing since it is possible that might influence answers.

I currently have a point and click IXUS. Its limitations are increasingly obvious.

I enjoy taking "nature" pictures - animals, birds, forests, lakes, scenery, etc. Also, macro photos like flowers and insects.

Of course I also take "urban" pictures and people though probably less than most people.

I am on a budget so do not wish to go over 400-500. I also do not want a situation where I need additional lenses that ramp up what appears to initially be a good deal.