there are definitely two opinions of macro. True macro being a 1:1 representation to real life on the sensor. Anything less is close-up photography (and the reason I sold the Fuji 60mm "macro" lens.....shame on you Fuji) and not true macro. If your friend just wants to do the occasionally flower close-up or larger insects.....any of the compacts will be good. But still I think better yet would be using some cheapo extension tubes for the Canon....at that point any lens can become a macro lens.
Here's a great resource for photomacrographers ........ www.photomacrography.net...Front Page
I'm not really sure it's shame on Fuji though. Serious macro photographers will check the specs before purchase, and will know (and often prefer) a manual focus lens for this work.
Not prohibitively expensive. For a 7D, $300 will get you a 60mm, and even the non-IS EF 100mm macro can be had for close to that price but is about twice the length. Both are proper macro lenses.
EFS 60mm on a 50D
I think your idea of getting a serious compact to add to your arsenal INSTEAD of a dedicated macro lens sounds like the right fit for you.
Wow this has evolved into an interesting discussion on macro photography and related equipment.
I was actually asking about macros and compacts for myself.