Timelessbeing - I had to have a bit of a grin when I read your List....!
Sounds as if you "merely want" a practical, functional, very user-friendly, camera that does a lot of things easily-sensibly.... Which for some strange reason has become "un-trendy" over the last couple of years.
As you say, Viewfinders in P&S have become an Endangered Species - not, I think, at all a good trend. It's nice if camera-makers earn good profits, but not if that's by 'deleting' major functions.
You probably aren't considering an "older" camera - but I was tempted to run your List against one I have - the Canon SX10 IS...
- Viewfinder, yes, not wonderful, but very usable EVF. The LCD also works very well for tripod and macro use. It's fully articulating, and will fold "face-in" to the camera so screen-protectors aren't needed. You can adjust so that folding LCD face-in to the camera switches it to EVF, opening it out switches to LCD. Brightness of LCD/EVF are adjustable.
- Shutter speed, 15-sec to 1/3200th. (Few P&S have 60-sec. My Fuji HS10 has 30-sec to 1/4000th. The new Fuji X-S1 has 30-sec + Bulb mode, with the optional cable release, which also does timer and focus.)
- Adjustable focus distance - VERY rare on P&S - the SX10 has Focus Bracketing - adjustable to 3 levels closer-to, further-from, the median of a 3-shot "Focus Bracket" set. Manual Focus is also available in all modes - Auto-Priorities-and-Manual.
- Flash Intensity - Auto, Set, or Forced flash in all modes other than Auto. Intensity Adjustable in Manual Mode.
- Focus Assist beam - yes.
- Battery Life - 550-600 shots on 4 x AA Eneloops, without flash or video. About 350 using the flash for most shots on an evening shoot.
Std AA-Alkalines (cheap sort, Chinese, 10 on a card for $2.00, kept in bag as 'backup' to sets of Eneloops) - 280-320 shots, no flash.)
AA-Lithiums - 1271 shots, daytime, no flash or video.
- User interface - Menu-fed, but very easy to use. There is a Separate Custom Menu, where you can put your "most used adjustments", to access with 1 click. There's also a Custom Mode - to which you can Save a setup to access instantly, say Focus Bracketing, Flash with Intensity set - or 1st-curtain/2nd-curtain set, so on.
The AEB uses ALL of the +/- 2EV Exposure adjustment - in 1/3 EV increments. You can "preset" the "centre" shot - at, say -2/3EV - then bracket either side of that. In the 2/3 example, as -2EV is maximum, the bracket is then limited to +/- 1 1/3 EV. But the 'off-centering' is quite usable.
- The SX10 has a "custom settable" button - I use for cycling the "0 - 1.4x - 2.3x" internal Teleconverter. But can also set for Metering, White Balance, Custom WB, i-Contrast, Red-Eye correction, AE-Lock and AF-Lock.
- Video - is 640 x 480 / 320 x 240 - in H264/MOV mode - no time limits, doesn't overheat over long periods, and the VGA video quality is as good as that level of video gets. The Video also has Exposure/Brightness and Manual Focus functions.
- Images, JPEG only - but very adjustable - Contrast, Sharpness, Saturation, Tone, and separate Red, Green and Blue Channels - all have 5 levels of adjustment.
- There is Macro and Super-Macro (from 0cm / 0") - in which Manual Focus can be used. You can Macro Video the adventures of ants-etc in 640 x 480 quite effectively.
- Also, the SX10 has the 'third level' of JPEG Recording - the low-compression, lower JPEG-artifacting, large filesize "Superfine" save mode. From the 10Mpix CCD, this can result in JPEGs up to 8-9MB in size. The excellent Superfine function was dropped in later SXxx cameras - but can be regained with the CHDK 'hack'.
- The Timer has the usual default 2-sec and 10-sec delays - but also Custom - 1-30 seconds. And yes - Bracketing, Focus or AEB, works with the Timer.
- So, while you might not want an older "mini-DSLR-shape" bridge-zoom - I was surprised just how many points on your List it handles. There aren't many SX10s on the 'used' market - people who have a "classic' are reluctant to part with it... But I did see one for AUD$185.00, in-box, as-new, on our local Gumtree Auction site. It's now safely at the bottom back of my wardrobe... Just...in...case...