Budding celebrity paparazzi on the cheap, I'd like you to meet the Olympus SP-550 UZ. While it's certainly not the most covert camera we've looked at, stealth is no longer an issue, as the 7-megapixel model has built-in 18x zoom (equivalent to 28-504mm on a 35mm camera). That means at the next movie premiere, you can just park your butt on some scaffolding a safe distance from the action and be sure to make use of the Dual Image Stabilization, which will help to keep your photos crystal clear. No need to jog for elbowroom at press events any longer!
As if that isn't enough, the camera has a decent high-burst rate, at 7 frames per second (when shooting 3-megapixel images). If you desire to wield 18x zoom on a pauper's budget (in this case $500), the camera comes out in February.