all the different systems have their own pros and cons, so you'll have to see what particular features are important to you? i dun believe there is one perfect camera for every person, so we all have to make do with whichever we decide
have a read around the different threads? i think various shi1 fu4 have mentioned all the systems you're interested in
Then base it on your budget. Also if all your friends is using a certain brand, you can ask them to let you try out to see if you like it. Don't always have to go with the newest body. Consider the earlier model too. Read the reviews.
Anyway, seems like you have made your choice on canon. Go for it, cause every moment lost is a lost opportunity.
Don't get a body/camera based on what you like, base it on what you need, if budget is a constraint.
Don't rush into it. There are quite a few clubsnap members offering camera and accessories rental for both Canon and Nikon. Why don't you check with them if they have the latest models. If so, rent each for a day (though you have to spend a small portion of your budget) and try it out.
This will help you to see which model you prefer. We can't help you choose because if you are serious about photography, you will realize that it has a lot to do with your personal style of doing things and it will take a while for this style to develop and grow within you. It's a long journey.
For me, I started off young with mentors who prefer Nikon over Canon. However, I have been using Canon for a long long time. So no point asking others to choose for you... choose it yourself.
Cheers and a good weekend ahead.
I only have little $.
This is my first DSLR, I don't know where to start.
D80 looks nice but $$$.
Sony good buy but I think they made better walkman.
Do consider what happens after you have gotten your camera.
I.E. the prospects of you buying more lens and accessories, which for me has exceeded much much more then initial cost of buying the camera body and kit lens.
As such i suggest u consider a more common brand if u do intend to get more accessories in future.
For the body, i suggest reading more reviews and then going down to shops for a try. Best if you can actually borrow from ppl you know
if you ask me, i say dun buy now. i noticed that this period is so called the DSLR boom period. pentax came out with K10D, nikon D80, canon 400D, sony A100.......all these cams are under the pressure of intense competition, with canon and nikon losing in the in-body IS, sony still dragging with the 7D replacement, and pentax with its long term reliability. it is really hard to say which is the best as the race has not completed or slowed down any bit. however, if you need one urgently and decide to take the risk, then follow the recommendations given by many CSers. if not, wait a few more months, or perhaps end of this year, that might be the time interval needed to distinguish the preferred choice.
there are only 2 Canon cameras i loved most, Canon 5D and 1D mk2.
why is there no 5D-equivalent NIKON OH NIKON!?!!?!!?!? anyway for Nikon, D2x is a clearly a match for the 1D mk2. borrowed a 5D and found it is a enjoyable experience!