I am hoping to get a new camera this christmas and I am stuck on either an SLR- example Nikon D3100 or saving a few hundred bucks and getting an Advanced Point-And-Shoot style camera, such as a Canon PowerShot.
Does anyone know if it's better to stick with an SLR or go a bit simpler with the point and shoot?
It really depends what you want to do with the camera.
If you're just wanting to take general photos of friends, family, holidays, e.t.c, you're probably best off saving the money and going with the Canon Powershot (which is a fantastic camera, and if you use it well, you'll get some brilliant shots).
If you really want to get more serious about photography, then it may be worth investing in the more expensive SLR. Be aware that these come at a much greater cost, as not only are you buying the body, but you end up buying a selection of (usually expensive) lenses, and a whole array of accesories. Which is great, if that's what you want to do, you get a lot of flexibility.
But if you're just wanting to do more casual photography, then sticking with the point and shoot is a good idea.
Also, you can get some amazing photography out of a P&S. It's just like any camera, if you learn to use it well, you'll get good shots.
But like I said, it really does depend what you want to do with it, and what you're aiming to get out of photography.
"You are not entitled to your opinion. You are entitled to your informed opinion. No one is entitled to be ignorant."
~ Harlan Ellison
Generally, SLR cameras are more expensive than a simple point and shoot camera, unless you're really getting a VERY advanced point and shoot, in which case I suggest getting an SLR camera if you're looking for that much control. Where I live point and shoots are a couple hundred, SLR cameras are in the thousands.
Personally, I've always prefered SLR cameras. If you're wanting a quick photo, they do that fine on automatic mode. But on those moments when you're feeling artistic like me, they're great for photography. I have an SLR film camera, but had to give up my digital SLR camera. Hoping to get one in the future, but for now will probably get the Sony Bloggie myself. It's a nice small, point and shoot camera.