Thanks everyone. Lots of good advice. Yeah she already ok'd the sony nex 6 and it has an evf so we could keep that but then if I went that route I would consider the nex 3nl since its half the price with all the same stuff she uses. Just not sure if squeezing in the eos would be better for the fact that hopefully i can get her a 17-50 2.8 someday and it would be a better combo. Never been a fan of the 4/3's cameras. She looked at the rx100 and hated the flash placement. I want the eos m but everyone seems to not be satisfied with the af speed and grabbing you kids you need all the speed you can get.
If she wants a camera she can put into a handbag, she mightn't be entirely amused if you handed her a DSLR, no matter how small, with that big, heavy 17-50 2.8 attached to it! I'm with those who suggest micro 4/3 - which ones have you seen and not been impressed by? I was more than a little skeptical about all the hoopla around the Olympus OMD E-M5 until I rented one; it's capable of quite spectacular images, especially with some of the available fast, light primes, and it's very hard to find any reviews/comments about it that aren't, well, skepticism-provoking. (And if you really want an equivalent of that 17-50 2.8, its micro 4/3 equivalent, the Panasonic 12-35, costs around the same but is a fraction of the size and weight.)
As for the flash placement on the excellent Sony RX100, that camera has a rather fast lens and performs more-or-less as well at high ISOs as Canon APS-C cameras (unless the newest two are better in that regard); so there may well be no need to use it anyway.
I wouldn't bother with a DSLR unless she needs the speed of handling which seems to be the sole advantage of an APS-C DSLR.
But of course, ideally you would take her to a decent camera store that would let her play around with a handful of cameras; B&H in NY at a less busy time of day would be nice....