So, I hate looking for a new point-and-shoot. However, the Panasonic really is very bad (oh god, the noise!) and I ordered a replacement: the Sony RX100. By all accounts, it is a game changer amongst compacts. It has a large 1-inch sensor and f/1.8 Zeiss-branded lens. Reviews are calling it the best compact ever made, with near DSLR performance. Of course, I've heard that before.
My one comfort is that this time around, I'll only be relying on my point-and-shoot as a companion for my 35mm film rangefinder. So, the images don't need to be the absolute best--just not terrible.
Am I in for a disappointment nonetheless? We'll find out tomorrow.