Usually every year new technology supplants old technology. As I look at the Canon line of cameras, I don't see anything that has 10x zoom and high definition video capability like last years Powershot TX-1. I would have thought that the combination of those features would be in high demand and that Canon would improve upon them. What is going on?
From my limited experience, most people do not look for a good zoom feature. I did and had trouble finding cameras that met my requirements. Many digitial cameras have good "digital" zooms but most do not have good zoom lenses. As I understand it, digital zoom can distort a photo. I prefer taking pictures of scenery while on vacations to taking pictures of people in poses. Scenery often requires various zoom levels to get the "right" shot.
I think for the most part, the camera company's seem to be focusing on the lower end, like the more basic point and shot digital cameras. They sell a lot more of these, and make more of a profit from the bulk sells at Walmart to Bestbuy. I really don't like the trade off of opical zoom to digital zoom with is a big reduction of quality like you were saying, but thats how the industry is going. I'm sure if you research the higher end cameras and are willing to pay more money you can find what ever you want.
A big part of the issue is that the camera companies can improve the software and silicon aspects of the camera a lot more easily than they can improve the hardware/optical side (c.f. Moore's Law). They can make ever cheaper, ever higher-resolution sensors, and faster processors, and more feature-packed interfaces, but the fact is that grinding a high-quality lens or building a rock-solid zoom housing still costs money.
We got a Kodak Z712 for dirt cheap (comparatively) and we're loving the quality of the pictures it takes. It's a 12x optical "superzoom", which works quite well, IMHO, but is not an SLR. If you want HD video, the Z812 can do 720p30, though not I think 720p60 or 1080i, and is otherwise pretty much the same camera. If you *must* have a Canon, I'm afraid I can't help.