I agree with McPherson about extension tubes. They also help solve lighting problems.
Keep in mind that some advanced point-and-shoot cameras have "macro" settings than allow very close focusing. For example, Canon's SX20 IS can make photos at the front surface of the lens itself. Not true macro perhaps, but amazing anyway, provided the lighting problem is overcome.
It's a good idea to remember to disable image stabilization when the camera is mounted on a tripod.
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