It's currently $200 on Amazon which is the lowest it's been there. Most of the reviewers paid significantly more than that for this camera.
Whenever I see reviews from people who paid a lot more than what I would pay I take it with a grain of salt. When you pay more you also expect more.
I'll give you an example... I was looking for a tripod the other day and reviews of a $20 tripod [amazon.com]
were rated higher than the ones I saw at $100+. That doesn't make the $20 tripod better than the $100 dollar one.
I would imagine that if some of these reviewers paid significantly less than what they did then the reviews may be different.
Worse comes to worse if you're not happy with it you can flip it on eBay. Used ones sold for $150.
Not arguing with your point... just thinking out loud
Here's the problem with the 520/530HS. It has a 16MP sensor where they only use the center 10MP. So effectively, the sensor is even smaller than a 1/2.3" sensor used in most P&S cameras. It's like a 1/3.68" sensor. That's like cell phone size. They had to crop the 16MP sensor dow to 10MP to get the level of zoom.