Compact cameras are great but you can't beat a removable-lens SLR for versatility...
Bung on a long, long lens for wonderful wildlife shots; substitute an ultra-wide for amazing architectural angles; or fit a can of Pringles crisps for magnificent high-magnification macro close-ups of miniscule objects or creatures.
No, really, that's not a joke. There's a walk-through of how to use a can of Pringles for macro work - more accurately, a Pringles' can - over at Photocritic.org, the self-styled 'Home of budget DIY photography projects'.
Other key elements in the project involved a Dremel tool (where would we be without our Dremels?), a torn-up old T-shirt, a black felt-tip pen, some left-over lens covers and, of course, a goodly amount of carefully applied glue.
Oh, and here's the proof of the pudding, as it were, a high-magnification crisp-can-caught close-up shot of the business end of a Bic ballpoint pen.
Just in case you missed the links above, the walk throught is at: http://www.photocritic.org/2005/macro-photography-on-a-budget and the main site is http://www.photocritic.org. The project has its own commentary page and you can also let us know your thoughts over in the HEXUS.community.