I find that the macro mode is almost identical in performance to the normal mode. I just did a test in bright light with a few small object and I can't really seem to see much difference between the two. Obviously there's a bit of play in these, as it's hard to take an identical shot without a tripod, but you take a look yourself and see what's better.
I took this shot probably about 5-6 inches away from the Key and was trying to focus on the Volvo logo for both shots.
You can see that at a little further away, the lettering on the key portion of the Fob is very clear, but the volvo logo is a bit blurry. As far as either shot goes, the Volvo logo is not that clear.
macro mode (I must have subconsciously snuck up a little closer on this one)
Here's a candy I put out in the sunlight. I was trying to focus on the text on top.
And a Macro shot. I'm not impressed with either of these, although the detail in the wood grain of my deck comes out quite nicely.
And then finally my salt and pepper shaker man. I couldn't get the camera to focus in on this little guy's head in either mode, but I found that tapping his belly as the focal point made it a somewhat decent shot (You can see the flecks of dirt represented quite clearly on his gut. he's a messy eater, I imagine)