We covered the budget end of the spectrum last month on Ask Engadget, but the release of Sony's new Alpha A700 DSLR seems as good a time as any to tackle the DSLR market. Phil wrote in for help on choosing between the numerous attractive entry-level DSLRs out there:
"I've been wanting to do some photography for a while. I don't have much specific technical knowledge in terms of cameras, but I know the sort of stuff I like (macro, scenic, sports photography). I've never owned an SLR and thus I do not have any lenses and such, so I'm free to use any brand. I've read reviews comparing the Nikon D80 with the Canon 400D, and they mostly say that the D80 is more expensive, but the difference is worth the money. The Pentax K10D has been receiving favourable reviews and has just recently been voted the best camera in Europe (can't remember by whom). My budget would be around US$1000 including 1 or 2 decent lenses to get me started. I'm open to ideas of other cameras as well (Sony Alpha maybe?) Have to consider the "ecosystem" (i.e. availability / variety / quality of lenses available) as well."
Leave your suggestions for Phil in the comments, and don't forget to write in with your own questions to ask at engadget dawt com!