I'm currently searching for a entry-level/mid-level camera that can last me for the next couple of years in university. I'm not too sure if I'd be taking a photography course or not, but I do know that going to a new environment (I'm leaving for Australia) would surely provide a whole new place to take beautiful pictures. I'm not looking for something too tough to use, because even though I'm sure that some people are able to fully utilize something really good, I want something that I can learn and grow with (Like a sturdy basic mountain bike, you know?)
I've currently got my eyes on the pretty new Nikon D3100, and from Alan Photo's price list, this camera is well within my budget ($800~$1,000), while leaving me with enough for a decent tripod, camera bag, back-up batteries and other things that I may need. Looking at the reviews and the preview (on dpreview), as well as browsing through some deviantart photos taken with D3100, I'm pretty satisfied with what I see.
My only worry is that I may be too unfamiliar with the different cameras available in the market, and perhaps there's actually another camera I do not know of that may be better for my demands(sorry that said demands seem to come by bulks).
Please give me some advice on this, I really want to make good use of my own hard earn money and get something that I can use to its full potential as I hone my skills.