Generally, in P mode you don’t have control of creative aspects except the framing. It’ll automatically popup your flash, too, whether you want it or not. You generally can’t influence it.
At least in Aperture Priority, you have control of DOF and can read what it suggests for shutter speed, and then either go with that or adjust.
I use the built-in light meter all the time. But it’s definitely easily confused, and until you get to know the metering of your camera, can give some pretty bad suggestions. If you’re going to use your camera’s reflective light meter as a light meter, it’s generally best to use spot mode and reading a specific part of the image. I don’t know if P mode even offers that ability, and that means that you’re using a much bigger point and shoot and would probably be better off with a palm-sized camera.