Thank you for reminding me of how technology is often pushed backwards because of consumer driven marketing, in this case with respect to digital cameras. Marketing so effective that it becomes increasingly difficult, if not impossible, to persuade many people that MP count is but one of many factors, one that takes a distant back seat to sensor size. I'm glad to see how many commenters here get that, but the general public never had a chance.
Raw images off my old 1.2 MP Canon a50 still have superior quality to contemporary cameras with many times the resolution, yielding superb 4x6 prints that are indistinguishable (in terms of resolution - even hard to see with a loop) from my 8 MP a630 or or even my DSLR. Typically, on 4x6, the a50 actually outperforms the a630!
Another misused concept is that of image stabilization. Some cameras with increased image gain amplification to "achieve" higher "ISO" ratings are being touted as having this feature, which is technically incorrect, alongside other cameras that have far more superior optical stabilization. Either way, consumers are led to believe that stabilization will magically eliminate blur from most if not all shots, even from subjects in motion within the frame, when in reality stabilization of any kind can at best only deliver a bit over 2 stops extra latitude before image motion overtakes shutter speed to an objectionable degree.
Decreasing pixel density (say 3-6 MP on a 1/1.8" sensor) would yield several stops better exposure, and when combined with current processing technology would make possible compacts that completely blow today's crap out of the water.
Advertising could just as easily center on quantifiable standards for overall image quality, perhaps something akin to Imatest's, that would still differentiate cameras in order to sell them, but also give the consumer a solid rule of thumb for guiding purchase decisions. But the damage has already been done, and gets worse with time, so that such standards may not ultimately be accepted by the general consumer at all, or at least without considerable effort.
What was that about RMS watts?