She loves taking pictures of our animals and the outdoors<lives in Michigan>.I do not really need something compact. I am looking for performance and quality rather then small size. I am looking for a new unit. Features are a plus too. I have not looked at camera's in 4 years so i am way out of the loop. I will look at the model of the one we have now. I have a really nice 8GB SDHC card already waiting for it. I got it for our camera that we have now not knowing it only supports up to 2GB. Easy of use is nice for her seeing i have to show her how to use it. But of course i like the manual controls and features.I'm a Canon guy myself, they've never failed me.
It really depends on what your wife likes to photograph, if she wants a compact camera there are so many options: The Powershot/Elph series are nice, feature-rich, pocketable point & shoots; the G series have great optics and powerful manual controls, the S series is a nice mix of the two.
You can pick up an older DSLR for that price as well, if she really wants to get into photography.
Outside of the Canon range I'd look at Nikon, Pentax, or Casio. Avoiding anything that relies on proprietary memory card formats like MemoryStick or xD cards.