I'm struggling trying to take control over my point-and-shoot camera, because it has no manual mode, not even shutter-speed-priority or aperture-priority modes, so that I have to figure out which of the functions would be helpful in certain situations rather than having direct control over the settings... I've decided to read the manual cover-to-cover now, and have put it on my Kindle.
Now people do say that it's not your gear; having better equipment won't necessarily improve your photography. That you can shoot great with anything at your disposal if you just know how to use it, etc. And before you get a different camera, you should understand how exactly it will help. Right: I still don't fully know my point-and-shoot, and it is possible I'm overlooking useful stuff that's hidden. But on the other hand I can visualize how having control over aperture can help with the depth-of-field (blurring background or foreground, especially in portraits) or with the starburst effect on the light sources, and the control over shutter speed can help with the night shots (I so wish to capture the trailing lights), or flowing water.
I've come across this great camera giveaway, and entered. (I bet I don't win ;P)*
* If I win, awesome; if I don't win, I at least win the bet!