I recently ponied up for a new digital camera (I bought a Canon Rebel T2i) and the experience reminded me of an invaluable trick that I use to figure out if I really want to buy a particular model of camera.
The photo sharing site Flickr has a tool called the Camera Finder. Just select the brand of camera you're looking for, and chances are someone has uploaded some pictures to Flickr that were taken using that camera. Here are pictures taken with the T2i and here you can see people's iPhone pictures).
This is a great way to see what the camera you're looking at is capable of. Keep in mind that Flickr shows you the most 'interesting' pictures taken with the camera you've selected first. Be sure to click the menu labelled 'Now Showing' and check out the other types of pictures you can look at. Why bother with this? 'Interesting' is Flickr speak for 'best,' so be sure to check out some of the regular pictures (even a mediocre camera is capable of taking great pictures given the right circumstances).