The best advice I heard when I shopped for my first SLR camera in July 2006 was to go to the store, pick one up, and see how it feels in your hands. I went with Nikon and my first camera was a Nikon D50 with the standard 18-55mm lens that came with it. Three years later, I upgraded to a Nikon D700 for its full frame capability and ISO performance. My favorite lens currently is the AF-S VR Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED.