Its most redeeming feature is the optical viewfinder. I find view screens are practically useless outdoors
Agreed. The sole reason I went for the Fuji X100 series was for the unique hybrid viewfinder. I use the big bright optical viewfinder almost all the time. Just an occasional flick on the lever to see what the sensor is seeing through the lens, then back to the optical finder. It has the great advantage of a generous margin around the framing outline, which makes it so much easier to frame and compose shots within the visible scene. You don't realise how much you rely on that until you swap to the electronic finder and can't see a single thing beyond the image sensor area:
I don't think I have ever used the rear screen when taking a photograph, I use it only to check what I've taken, and even then I can't see it properly in daylight. Using the optical finder also saves battery life significantly.
Those are great shots for an old camera, I just checked the EXIF for your skiing shot in the media gallery:
Device: PENTAX Optio S4
Focal length: 5.8 mm
Exposure time: 1/800
Dimensions: 2225px x 1669px
Look after it, because the market for good quality compact cameras has been almost entirely killed by mobile phones now.
Rob is our resident camera expert -- no doubt he will be along shortly.