I got this camera to replace a failing Canon Powershot A470 that started to have some autofocus problems and just didn't autofocus the way I remember it focusing. So far I'm very happy with my A470 replacement, however I do find some issues in this camera I can forgive for what this camera is. It doesn't have MMC card support, something my A470 has, but due to the nature of the cards being very unknown and now defunct in the industry, I can understand why this was removed. However, losing MMC support did have some advantages. For example, instead of MMC support, this camera has EyeFi support in place, which is nice because EyeFi cards are wireless and I can sync my pictures from my computer without using a USB cable or USB card reader to pull photos off the camera, so I think this will be a nice feature in the future if I ever need WiFi in this camera. On top of that, while it's no flash/low light performance is a little weak compared to other cameras I have used in the past and even own, it's expected this will not perform as well as a DSLR, but is very close to DSLR performance. The battery thing is the only real thing I don't think reviewers of this camera understand, and give this camera a bad reputation. These cameras are not meant to use Alkaline batteries, they have to use NiMh batteries or Lithium batteries. I have not tried Lithium-Ion rechargeable batteries in this, so I can not speak for if those work, or even fit the camera so these may also be a viable option if you can fit them in this camera and it takes them. Alkaline batteries do not last due to the flash capacitor killing them. I have tried them in this camera and I have seen how much power they normally have left, and the battery is still good for other things, it just didn't have enough to run the camera. These cameras demand too much power to use Alkaline batteries in them for long periods of time. I also don't really like how more controls are put in software on this, coming from the A470 which had quite a few buttons on it that weren't in software, however I have seen worse where everything except the review button and one button controls the modes in software, so I can overlook the nature of more software implementation on this. This also doesn't include a Composite video cable anymore, so if yours lacks this don't worry about it, it's not included in this camera. However it still includes a USB cable, even tough I don't need it. On Windows XP and above, you really don't need the software to pull your photos on this. Just plug it in and pull them off, since these OSes have a generic Canon camera driver built in. For Mac users, use iPhoto to pull your pictures off since Apple has Canon drivers built in to iPhoto. You can also use a card reader if you don't want to mess with Canon generic drivers or iPhoto.
For Windows 2000 and below, use a USB card reader and that will work out for you. Linux users should use a card reader. This software problem has always been on Canon cameras for years, so this is nothing new. Some cameras might require the Canon software on Windows XP and newer in some rare cases. Other then a few features removed, and this camera being impossible to use without Canon software or a photo program that sees cameras, or even generic drivers in Windows XP, it's not a bad camera in any way