Nikon and Canon are the best brands out there for cameras. If you want good photos, as a general rule (not to say you can't take good photos with lesser quality cameras) you could be paying upwards of 175 - 400. The camera that I would suggest as any easy to use point and shoot would be the Nikon Coolpix. It takes clear, beautiful pictures even if you are an amateur. The settings are easy to use and are well set up to take pictures in every circumstance. If you wanted to spend a bit more money you can always look into SLR cameras. They are more expensive but the quality of the photographs coming from an SLR is superior. I would suggest a Nikon D40, or anything in that line.
Best of luck in your search for the right camera!! Also, the people working at the store are always very knowledgable. They will be able to help you as well.
Edited to add: http://www.google.com/products/catal...029#ps-sellers
this looks like it could be a good option if a bit more expensive...
Whereas this http://www.google.com/products/catal...356#ps-sellers
would be very practical =)