With the PowerShot A3100, it's fair to say Canon has the entire spectrum of compact cameras covered.
The top and bottom ends of the price spectrum are easy, though. If you want DSLR-style performance and quality, prepare your bank manager and buy either the G11 or the excellent Nikon P6000. There are only a few truly decent cameras under £100, so that choice is easy as well.
Things get sticky in the middle, though. If you've got around £200 to spend the competition is fierce and the choice bewildering. Manufacturers know that's the sweet spot for consumers and so for a camera to succeed it has to be excellent.
The Canon A3100 wades into the fray with a formidable specification list. Its 12.1MP sensor is a good start, and its 4x optical zoom, stabilised lens and big TFT on the back all make it a serious contender. But cameras like the Ixus 105 are just as serious.