lx5 is really good. Its image quality is outstanding. It's one of the best compact camera with manual settings.
You can also consider the lx3 which uses the same sensor as the lx5 should be a lot cheaper on the secondhand market.
If you can find an lx5 for a good price though, don't hesitate to buy it. The ergonomics and usability is leaps and bounds better than the lx3. You can also consider the canon S90/95.
Just don't put it on auto and expect it to give you excellent images all the time. Like a DSLR you have to learn how to use the manual settings to get the most out of the camera. If you find the manual settings complicated you're better off using a normal point-and-shoot camera.
When reading reviews, its important to take out all those you learnt in Social Studies and GP. Remb to spot for fallacies, inconsistencies, and sustained evidence (sample pics, in this case). Do cross reference reviews too. It's also useful to pick out those one liner or simple comment on forums and youtube to see how the trend is like. You can pick up some of those comments and research further on it.
While most technical specs can be easily found on the brand's webby, some more obscure features might not be stated clearly, and worth finding out in detail to determine if its worth your money. Examples are
- Optical/Electronic Image Stabilization
- Maximum storage card capacity accepted
- Screen size/res/dpi
- Video recording resolution, interlaced or progressive, AVCHD or MJPEG, zoom during video? Image stab during video? External mic in for video?
- White balance options, able to adjust by K or able to do custom white balance?
- For fixed lens, min focal length, min and max F stop
- Min and Max shutter speed (esp on lower end PnS)
- Support remote control?
- Hotshoe for flash?
- Got viewfinder?
- Swivel screen?
- build in flash guide no.