A couple of pointers, if I may... and and some potential ideas.
I'm by no means a hardcore photographer; but over the years I have owned a fair few cameras.
The thing that always moves things around in my list of favourites is how the camera 'feels'. On more than one occasion I have frustrated salespersons in camera shops by getting them to dig out a particular model and then just handling it and 'playing' with it. I want to feel if the basic user controls 'fall to finger' easily. Not all makes do... for me. So, can you actually get your hands on that camera to have a feel first?
Look at the 2nd-hand market. Poor cameras are reflected by how they hold their prices.
Don't be overly blinded by 'resolution'. High resolution is not the be all and end all. I still have my first digital camera which only has a resolution of 3Mp! And it takes a lot of zooming in to actually detect pixelation. If you are not wanting to print huge blow ups, a lower resolution camera might be sufficient. High resolution also means less images on the memory card! Its not the 'resolution' that is the most critical factor all the time. A poor lens will still produce poor quality detail - and good lenses tend to cost lots more.
If you want to try a camera long term, look on an auction site for the one you want to try (usual caveats, of course) and run it for a while. If you don't like it, you can re-sell it without incurring too much loss.
And, of course, do as you've done here and ask around!
Having said all that, my latest camera (a DSLR) was an auction site purchase and I've still got it two years later. It was a make I fell in love with many years ago with a 35mm SLR and their brand has always 'fitted' my hand. And this latest one fulfilled all my criteria. It doesn't have a huge resolution, but it still takes a lot of zooming before detail starts blurring or pixelating - and it takes better pictures than most of the 35mm cameras I've owned.
The bottom line... see if you can find a way of 'try before you buy'.
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