If one of your primary goals is to shoot close up shots, you have to look at Nikon's digicams -- they excell at macro photography. You can get by nicely with the CoolPix 3500 if you're on a budget, but you have to use "hot lights" since it doesn't have a hot shoe for external flash. If you have a few more $$$ look at the other Nikon offerings -- they're terrific for this type of work.
Another favorite camera of mine right now in the mid price range is the Olympus C-5050. It accommodates 3 different types of media, has a hot shoe, tilt LCD monitor, 5 megapixels, and accepts auxiliary lenses -- all in a tiny package for about $700. Very nice.