I also tried salvia this past weekend. This too is a daunting task to explain. I do not think such an experience is possible to express in words - so I won't, for now. Later.
Have been doing extensive (not really) research on entry-level DSLR cameras, and am probably settling on the Nikon D3000, which will cost around $450-500. I think this is a great price for what I am going to get, but will not be purchasing it until I feel a bit more financially secure. So this summer, maybe, and I will get a chance to ask my camera savvy friends what they think. I would love to take a photography class also, if I can squeeze it in. :)