I have a PowerShot SD1300 IS. Yes, it does very well for a pocket camera. I'd recommend it. Consumer Reports rated it highly when it was new.
A pocket camera is all about taking good pics quickly, with no inconvenience. For that, the emphasis is on light weight, automatic everything, quick zoom control, and quick power-on. It does those.
No, the pictures it takes aren't as good as my wife's professional SLR. It has a good lens for a pocket camera, better than most pocket cameras, but no pocket camera can touch a professional SLR.
Auto focus does a decent job identifying faces. You'll never miss manual focus mode.
The only things I really do manually is adding fill-in flash when I need it, or turning off flash when I don't want it (such as sporting events that prohibit flash photography). Both of those are easy to do when desired.