I own a camera store in New Port Richey, Florida and we sell digital cameras, so I hope I can help you.
From what you wrote, you are concerned about your camera gettig wet, you aren't planning on taking your camera swimming or diving with you. If you concern is ony that the camera will get wet then a water resistant camera will work fine for you. These cameras can get wet, even dunked in water for a very shot time and it won't hurt the camera. Just wipe it off with a towel. If it is salt water, than you will want to clean it with fresh water to get the salt off. The Olympus stylus 600 & 800 are good cameras for that. If you're snorkeling, the new Olympus stylus 720 can be taken under water up to 10' deep (and can be dropped from 5' onto the floor) and still work. Buy this one if you plan on taking the camera into the pool or if you worry about dropping the camera and breaking it. Underwater housings are available from most camera manufacturers for their cameras . They sell for $150-$250 on tope of the camera pricre, and you must buy the right housing to fit your camera. These are good for divers as they can go underwater up to 150'.
As for the screen in the sunlight problem, it seems that most of the manufacturers are doing away with optical viewfinders in favor of the large screen only. If the sun is at the wrong angle, they all are hard to see. Canon still has optical viewfinders on most of their cameras, but none are weatherproof. Delkin Devices makes a hood that sticks onto the back of the camera to create a shade. It also doubles to protect the screen from scratches. I would highly recommend one of these, about $25.00.
Finally, before you go to the big box store (Best Buy, Walmart, etc...), check if you have a good local camera store in your area. Their prices are usually compeititive and the information you gain from them will be much better than what you get from most salespeople in the big box store.
If you have any other questions, please feel free to contact me.