I remember buying my first "real" Digital camera...the Panasonic FZ-20. I refer to it as a "real" camera as it had Manual control over Aperture and Shutter Speed and a lens that covered a pretty good focal range. Wife, I recall saying, I'll never need another camera after this one. I don't recall ever taking it out of Auto Mode and I spent my life in the Panasonic section of this Forum.
A few years later I was going on a trip to Hong Kong and was debating the merits of Superzoom P&S versus DSLR. At that time I was tossing up between the Panasonic FZ-50 and a Canon 400D and eventually decided to go the way of the DSLR....and started spending a lot of time in the Canon section of this Forum.
Of course, there was much debate over buying Kit lenses versus slightly better 3rd Party lenses (eg 17-70mm Sigma or 17-50mm Tamron). I still remember the enjoyment of bartering over lenses in the Hong Kong Shops and eventually came home with a Canon 400D, 17-70mm Sigma Lens & 70-300mm IS Canon Lens
Then there was the Photography Course that I attended at a local Community School run by none other than the great CW from this forum and I learned to take it off Auto.
Over the years I started upgrading my lenses to get the "best of the best" (eg Canon 10-22mm, Canon 17-55mm f/2.8, Canon 100mm Macro f/2.8, Canon 70-200L f/2.8)....I was never going to be a Professional, but easily justified when planning Overseas Holidays and you want to capture your images the best way possible....or so you tell the Missus
Upgraded the Canon 400d to a Canon 50D....don't worry Wife, because of my astute decisions made over the last few Years....all of my Lenses are completely compatible.
....and then I bought a 5D MkIII