I'm looking to buy a high end compact or travel zoom as a gift and would really appreciate some advice on the top of the range/latest cameras in the market.

I've read all the reviews and comparisons but would really like some first hand advice

most important criteria are an impressive zoom (+10), image quality, good rechargeable battery life and manual controls. Looking for an optical viewfinder but doesn't look like an option!

Budget not really a restriction, I've suggested a CSC/DSLR but not looking for something with a bulky lens so that also rules out bridge cameras unfortunately.

Looking at the TZ30, SX260, HX9V...any others that top these??

Thank you in advance!