Digital Photography Review has posted a review of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ18.
…the FZ18 is a well built camera with a brilliant user interface and a superb range of photographic controls. The excellent quick menu gives you comfortable access to all important settings and the entire menu structure is designed in a way that’ll let you know your way around the buttons without any problems after a couple of days or so. There is a very comprehensive range of manual controls, so the choice is yours; you can leave all the thinking to the camera or adjust all settings to your preference. We found the FZ very responsive and quick all around and the efficient stabilization system is a very welcome feature, especially at the tele end of the very long lens.
They do seem to like the camera.
Personally I am not a great fan of this kind of camera format, too big to be easily carried even though generally you will get better pictures, but likewise none of the flexibility you get with a digital SLR.