I agree that 'registers' are outdated and don't really deliver on functionality. We use a customised software solution and run it on a good looking touch screen PC (with mini keyboard of course), and have integrated Eftpos/Credit card + printers (barcode label printer & receipt printer), which is transitioning to the cloud as we now run multiple sites. The most important factors for me in my system are:
* business intelligence - ability to see as much data as possible to track and analyze products (individual, category, or by attribute, over any period I want)
* simple, intuitive Point of Sale interface for FAST and simple processing of sales (we have put through over 700 sales in a day before). Our barcode system allows fast sanning of retail shelf products and our short number codes for our loose assorted cabinet chocolates are fast and easy to type in (we have over 120 individual flavors etc). All up we have over 600 SKUS on our system, although only 400 or so are active.
* CRM (Customer Relationship Management) we have included a bar coded loyalty card system which gives points on all purchases to customers and allows us to market to customers who buy particular items etc
There are plenty of other nice to have functionality, but if I could only have three, they would be it.
There are most certainly great opportunities in the cloud now, and I am very excited about our upcoming transition as our software moves off our PCs and into the cloud, giving me more control from our head office while still allowing stores a decent level of autonomy for daily things.
I also spent a long time looking, and there were so many bad systems, I feel lucky to have found the one I did. Thanks for your comments, made me realize I had not really elaborated on my system.