I've been doing a lot of research on DSLRs, entry level and the next step up, and on paper the best value appears to be the Pentax K-x. $550 at Amazon for the kit. The dpreview review was absolutely glowing, including a statement that if you want better low-light performance, you'll have to go full frame. Overall, they liked it at least as well as the D5000 and T1i, and all for materially less money. And I guess an additional advantage would be the availability of the older Pentax lenses at low cost. But I keep seeing comments to the effect that Pentax may be on death's door. Is that the consensus opinion? Well if they go under, there would be the issue of warranty, but I assume you would still be able to get repairs done somewhere. And the cameras wouldn't immediately stop taking pictures. Actually, as long as somebody else buys them, a la Sony and Konica/Minolta, it might not matter, at least for a while.