Thanks for the tips, ROY.1, and I will check out Power render "Purple fringe remover" and Topaz Labs "Adjust" and "Denoise" as you suggest. I already have irfanview downloaded and will check that out further as well. I kind of jumped back into "serious" photography only recently and need to get more up to speed on the digital technology in the cameras and software as well. I used to be deep into 35mm with a darkroom and all over 35 years ago, but so much has changed (for the better by far, IMHO). I do kind of miss my red safe-light while processing though.
I agree wholeheartedly with you on the sensor sizes with these zoom cameras. I, too, am looking for greater speed for low light (as well as RAW), and right now the best speeds only reside on the dSLR side of the market. That's why I'm aspiring to the Canon 40D or possibly the 50D, but that will be several months in the future because the lenses will force me to the poor house!
In the meantime, for the price, I am quite satisfied with the SX10 IS - in fact I think it's fair to say that my expectations of it have been exceeded.