I'd recomend either a canon digital rebel XT or XTi whichever you're willing to shell the cash out for (to be honest they're very similar in the final product they produce.) I would however skip the kit lens all together and buy something nicer to start with so you won't think the camera is mediocre based on the quality of the kit lens. With that said and a 1000 dollar budget to play with i would grab a rebel XT ($622.91 for the black one and $609.95 for the silver) and a tamron 17-50 f/2.8 ($449) from b&h. At their currently listed prices for both items you come out to $1,058.95 plus like 15 bucks for shipping. This is an excellent starter package.
I own a tamron 17-50 f/2.8 and i can say first hand it's top notch glass. It holds it's own against many of the higher end canon brand lenses in terms of image quality. It's razor sharp and really a great value and will run circles around the bundled kit lens any day of the week. The 2.8 will also allow you to successfully take your indoor shots with available light for a more natural and professional look than just exploding a flash up on the scene. Not that flash photography is bad but it's an art that must be mastered like any thing else and will require a decent external flash and lots of practice to do properly. The popup flash just doesn't cut it in my book.
The lens you put on the camera is far more important than the camera you're shooting with. You'll often times hear people refer to their gear like "i took that picture with my canon 70-200 f/2.8 IS with my 20d attached" instead of the other way around because the lens really determines the image quality. I'm not saying a better body wouldn't make a difference but you have to have good glass to start with before the better body can shine. So don't skimp on the lens to afford the latest camera body. Good luck with your purchase.
Last edited by BonjiB; 10-22-2006 at 10:35 PM.
The name is pronounced bonn-gee-bee
Canon 1Ds Mark II
Canon 20D + BG-E2
Canon Elan 7e
Canon 70-200 f/2.8L USM IS
Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 XR Di II LD Aspherical [IF]
Canon 50mm f/1.8
Canon 28-105mm f/3.5-4.5 USM
Canon 135mm f/2.8 Soft Focus