Camera Advise Please?

282, originally uploaded by people folk.

Dear friends, I am currently trying to research what kind of digital camera to buy. It is a seriously annoying, painstaking process as A. I know nothing and B. There are so many damn cameras! I’ve used sites that people suggested to me (cnet, dpreview) to research, but that just puts me back where I started with too many choices.

Here’s what I’m looking for:
1. Something that takes good low-light photos. I’m not a walking around the city taking photos kind of a person. I’m more into intimate, indoor photos.

2. Something that takes raw photos as I am going to start photographing Billy’s paintings for his website, etc. This is why a DSLR is probably what I need, but if there is some sweet point and shoot that shoots raw (I’ve been looking at the Canon G10, for instance, but I don’t know how I feel about the image quality and low-light situations) tell me if you like it. Raw just gives me more control over adjusting the colors since photos of his paintings have to be so specific.

3. I am not rolling in the dough right now. I don’t want to spend more than $500, unless you tell me that my life is not complete without a certain camera and really, really convince me. I drop things and spill liquids often.

4. I am not taking super professional photos, just personal stuff. Something to keep in mind. I never use a flash, I am kind of lazy and like easy to use cameras.

Thank you so much in advance for any advice! Currently I have a sony cybershot point and shoot, which is a little trooper but takes the worst low-light photos known to man.