Don't know that the Panasonic choice would be a bad one. I've never used one, but they look like nice little units.
Personally, I suggest staying with compacts that have lens that extend out of the body (similar to the LUMIX models you're looking at). I tried out a Nikon S5 Coolpix and while it was a nice, thin little machine, I found a flaw that was a deal-killer for me. In low-light situations, using Red-Eye Reduction, I would get all sorts of spots in my pictures. Ruined some Going-Away Party pics that I'd taken. Swapped out for a new camera (same model) and had the same problem. Took it back and got a Canon IXY 700
instead. Excellent camera. Doesn't have the Red-Eye problem (but the Red-Eye isn't that great, either, tho'). Easier to digitally get rid of red eyes than white starry blotches. When I was having that problem, I'd noticed that reading reviews of similarly built Sonys (ie- non-telescoping lenses), that there were people complaining of the same problem I'd had. If only I'd seen that before purchasing
My review of the Nikon S5 Coolpix on Amazon: HERE