Well.. I didnt end up getting the TZ20..
I did some more research and found it also has a few issues with the quality of sound recording and also the quality of video in low light is average at best.
All in all, while i think it would be perfectly fine for the use it will get - i just cant bring myself to buy something when i know it has fundamental downfalls when used in certain circumstances.
On the brighter side (depending on how many brownie points i've lost..) the girlfriend has now given me the torch to carry and wants no part in the decision process - its all me now (yes, i actually won!)
The problem, im basically back to square one. Im leaning towards the Ixus 210 because it seems great all round, but the lack of zoom and smaller screen size does bother me slightly. Im VERY tempted to get the Ixus 220 (8x zoom + 3inch screen) but then im spending the same as the TZ20 and despite being given authority to choice to myself im really not sure spending the same for something without the extra "features" would go down too well
Good to know the ones mentioned here are not commonly having hardware issues, that is some weight off my mind.