i'm a big fan of Canon's S series, in fact, i started out with the s3is, then sx10is, sx1is, and the sx20is, and now have my sx40hs. I'm very lucky not to try the sx30is since it was soon replaced by sx40hs.The sx40hs is one of the best, if not the best bridge type camera i've tried, its zoom capabilities is very amazing. I can go up to its maximum optical zoom and get great results unlike its previous versions of the SX series. Maybe the Digic5 precessor has something to do with it. You can never go wrong with this camera, image quality is very good, better than the G9, in fact. The color saturation is great....it's low light performance is very good. It's much, much better than the sx20is in almost all aspects.
whats good: color saturation on default setting is very good
minimal noise from iso 100 to 400....usable iso 800 to 1600
excellent battery life
very reliable optical zoom from end to end
what's not good: no RAW (and superfine jpeg)
doesn't comes with a lens hood on the package