I've been really happy with my Sony Alpha. It does most everything I need it to, and didn't break the bank. My kit was around 2k new and I got it used for<500 four years ago. I don't think anyone here gives a shiznit about Sony though. You prolly can't go wrong w/Wes' suggestions. You may be happier with a decent point and shoot for that money though. If I were getting into it today I'd be looking for a deal on a D7000. That's an entry level DSLR. You'd be happy with that for a long time. I'll be getting out of entry level limitations as soon as Nikon makes up it's mind on the replacement for the D700. Keeping the Alpha too.