Before you make the plunge, read some reviews and take suggestions from the forum. Don't aim too low when choosing a camera. I've never heard anyone complaining that the camera they bought is too good.
Don't rule out used and refurbished cameras from dealers and manufacturers.
A few of the things to consider are the quality of the lens (glass vs. plastic), manual controls (if you want control instead of letting the camera decide), optical zoom and ignore digital zoom, how you are going to use the camera (casual shooter or professional shooter). and low light performance.