First of all, you need to give some consideration to where you'll be getting your rating information.
Since I'm going to assume your reading this online, your already aware of one of the biggest sources for camera ratings guides.
Bear in mind though, this is the internet, and you can't believe everything you read.
Except of course for this article.
I read an online article a few days ago, that suggested that 86% of online web readers believed that less then half of what they read online was reliable.
A healthy does of skepticism is a good thing, but this seems a little extreme.
Let's not forget about other sources of camera ratings.
There are trade publications, photography magazines, and the tech section of major newspapers.
While they may not be as specialized as some websites, they are a valuable source for research as well.
Consumer reports magazine is one the comes to mind first.
Since we're looking for point and shoot cameras, they're are a few shortcoming that go with this market niche that you should be aware of.
Zoom lenses on point and shoots are typically not very powerful.
If plan on getting a close up of the bride and groom kissing from the back pew of the church, your going to be disappointed.
Your zoom lens likely won't reach that far.
If this is a big concern for you, that it's time to check out a few SLR cameras.
Shutter speed is notoriously on point and shoots.
Slow shutter speed is the main culprit for missed photo opportunities.
With a point and shoot, you need to plan a bit ahead.
Holding the shutter down halfway, allows the battery to charge the flash, and prepare the camera to take the perfect picture.
When your subject is ready, you just have to press the shutter the remaining way down.
Batteries, while often the bane of gadgets in general, can be a real nuisance for digital cameras.
Because point and shoots are small, the space for battery storage is limited.
Resulting in smaller batteries.
Consumer demands for large LCD screens, further exacerbates the problem, as this is where most of your battery juice goes.
Rechargeables are the best solution here.
I mention these flaws not to talk you out of choosing a point and shoot camera, but to make you aware of their basic shortcomings.
Some will be better then others, but their primary design has some common flaws.
If you can live with these shortcomings, then your ultimate buying decision will be easier.