HERE is a review of a pre-production 550D, as well as some side-by-side comparison vs the 500D.Originally Posted by CrazeCat
To me the differences aren't that significant. Maybe by waiting, the 500D price will drop some more, and that might be a good thing. I note that you want to photograph some event in mid-march. Since you claim to be a total newbie, I doubt even if you bought a DSLR tomorrow, you'd be competent with it in less than a fortnight... just something to think about.
all the best!