Further linked pages:
I'm still learning about digital photography and processing the resulting images.
I'm currently using a Canon A720IS compact camera with the fantastic CHDK 'hack' installed. This makes additional information available when using the camera, and also enables taking RAW photos. (I dropped my A710IS into salt water -- not recommended! Fortunately I managed to buy an A720IS secondhand.)
The latest version of CHDK has an option which creates DNG files in the camera. I now use this approach. (Before, as a Mac user, the best way I had found for converting CRW files to DNG, which can then be processed in Photoshop, was to use the Windows version of DNG for Powershot-2 and run it in CrossOver.)
As an experienced photographer using slide film, I find the limited dynamic range of digital images a significant weakness at times. See "High Dynamic Range via Blending in Adobe Photoshop Elements 6" for yet another method I've discovered for reducing dynamic range in digital images by blending two images created at different exposures. You don't have to start with a RAW image but it helps.
A polarizing filter makes a big difference to sky/water shots in sunshine -- look at my example shots. A big advantage of the Canon Powershot A700 series (now no longer made) is that they take an adapter tube which allows the use of 58mm filters.