A relatively new, but seemingly very user-friendly site is SnapSort, which aims to help you find out what's what when you're looking for a new camera.
For example their "Just Tell Me" feature is neat. You just write in your price ceiling, and the site will show you their highest rated cameras within different types (super-zoom, underwater, ultracompact, etc). If you don't want to spend hours reading reviews, I suspect this is a pretty safe way to do it. Certainly better than go to a shop and ask, because the guys behind the desk don't have time to do camera testing or even read many reviews.
I played around a bit with this feature, and it seems the recommendations are very solid indeed.
That's a nice site, and the recommendations are good, too. I also like their explanations of photo terms and specs. Try out their companion site LensHero, too, it's also nice.