I made a couple 13x19" prints from images shot with the g12. They looked fantastic.
If zoom is your main thing, a DSLR may be your better bet, even though they will not fit in your pocket. Most pocket cams only have so much room to work with. And more zoom means the lens gets dark fast which means less light hitting the sensor, longer exposure times, more chance of motion blur, higher iso = noisier images etc. Most pocket cameras have a small sensor. The Sony I picked up yesterday has probably the largest (is 1") sensor in the smallest body available. It also packs in a massive 20mp, which, is not what sold me, the fast lens (f/1.8 and larger sensor did).
For just mulling around, the g12 should be fine. But if not enough reach, depending how much you need, a pocket camera may not be the best choice. I am sure there are cameras with longer reach, but what is the maximum (smallest f/stop) at max zoom?
How much zoom do you need?
Most people run from storms, I run to them (back by popular request )