I picked the Canon 40D at the end of the day, no regrets at all to be honest, really good DSLR to start.
Here are some questions you should ask yourself:
1. How serious are you that you need a DSLR or willing to spend so much for one.
If you feel you are not the serious kind then go for a basic Canon 400D, 450D, Nikon D40, Olympus E-310 or Sony A350 will do. If you are serious then pay a bit more, go for Nikon D80(no live view but i think it perfectly ok for a DSLR, i don't use it even when i have the function) or Canon 40D (my choice DSLR).
2. The actual budget for the DSLR?
If your budget is 1.5K then go for the Canon 400D, 450D, Nikon D40 entry level kind coz after all the add this buy this buy that, you are at a good 1.5-1.8K. For the mid range Canon 40D, Nikon D80, you are more likely to spend up to 2.3K easily i feel.
Have fun searching... Visit shops like T K Foto (Shaw @ Beach Road), John 3:16 (Funan) i am sure the guys can help you. I bought from T K Foto, strongly recommend to you to buy there for competitive pricing and good service.