The higher the iso the less light you need to make a exposure. However, as the iso increases the graininess of the photo will increase. A larger range would probably be better then a camera with a limited one. You will have more options. Options are always good.
Just be careful, though - while bigger is better, some cameras will produce unusably noisy pictures at the top of their ISO range.
But that's all just signal processing crap. There's not a lot of variation in the available ISO ranges of most of the cameras, but there is a variation in the size and quality of their sensors. What you're actually interested in is the usable ISO range - and the only way to find that out is from reviews by places that actually tested the thing.
Spug, I was recently in your same situation, and what helped me a lot was to clarify what my objectives were for the camera. I think this will help you fine tune your research a lot. So for example, are there typical scenarios that you're looking to shoot, are you just trying to get more into photography and want to improve, etc.
I've been pretty happy with the one I ended up with (a Fuji Finepix something or other, I'm too lazy to look up the model right now, but will be happy to provide it if you're interested). It's done well in a number of different lighting conditions, and feels like a really good practice camera that's a point and shoot but has some features that are similar to DSLR.
Also, not sure what your budget is. This one came in at about $250.
I'd also say that it's probably not very important.
It really depends on what sort of photography you want to do. If, for example, you want to do sports shooting, then a high usable ISO rating is absolutely necessary. If, on the other hand, you're going to be photographing flowers, it's no bloody use to you whatsoever.
A high ISO is useful for shooting fast moving stuff, and a bit - but not very - useful when you're shooting in low light conditions. But for most, general-purpose photography, 90% of everything is shot at ISO100 or 200, which any camera will do.
So, unless you've got a particular reason to need that higher ISO, I'd really focus on other features and cost.
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