thanks guys for the extensive advice..
I'm more or less decided that i want take that forbidden step into photography. Now it just a question of when i take that step. and which path i take. (Canon or Nikon)
Really prefer the overall package offered by the nikon. I've had an offer by a close friend to purchase his 300D Body and canon system. He didn't have the kit lense. but he has 2 of his own lenses. the battery pack attachement, Speedlite, remote control, spare compatible batteries and memory cards. Was offered 2000 for it. Thinking of taking up this offer from a personal friend.