Personally, it doesn't really matter if there's a better one out there. As long as the camera you have is fine, then you oughtn't worry about it.
If the con ever talks about image quality issues, it'd probably be a good idea to ignore it. Frankly, if you have to ask the question what camera to buy, it is highly unlikely you'll have to worry about image quality. And that's because all cameras on the market today have sufficient image quality.
And it seems like you're into the whole pixel counting thing which I particularly hate. It's unlikely that you'll notice the difference between a 5 and 8 megapixel photo. Frankly, in the compact camera market, I'd go for the camera with lower-megapixel ratings since a cramped sensor means bad light sensitivity and bad noise performance.
As aforementioned the A720 IS might be a good idea. But by my guess, it's unlikely that a teen would want to be caught using one of those.
The Sony T100 is on sale right now, and I think it does match your needs. The reason why it's on sale is because it's been replaced by the Sony T200 which has a 3.5" touch screen (or something of similar size). Or unless you need touchscreen, you can go for the T200. It has 5X zoom, a large screen 2.5" or 3" I believe.
The more recent Canons and Sony cameras VERY GENERALLY have pretty good performance, with the exception of the T200.
Those are the only two cameras that come to my mind. Nikon does have a 5X zoom camera, but it has horrible performance (L5, I believe).
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