You cannot get a camera one step below a DSLR for $200.
this is true. you want a near-dslr or advanced compact. take a look at these. these are some of the better near-dslr's: http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/compare_post.asp
. notice that the kodak listed there is better than the one you mentioned. the kodak listed there is a 24x optical, which is about as high as the near-dslr's get so far (it's also the one i'm probably going to buy next
near-dslr's have the disadvantage of having only one lens (in most cases). you arent seeing through the lens when using the viewfinder and the lens sizes tend to be a bit smaller than the dslr's, which usually means your shots will be a little more grainy.
but, they have the advantage of not having more than one lens (yes, that can be an advantage), they tend to be a bit smaller and lighter for easier use, they're cheaper and you can wear one on your belt in a pouch/case. you also wont need an accessories bag and have 16 lenses, gadgets and 'stuff' weighing you down.
you might also want to look into mini-cam-corders. there's a new sony that has 60x optical zoom and fits in the palm of your hand