As a Canon person, stay Canon, I love their cameras, but I guess its all how it feels in your hand.
Honestly, I wouldn't recommend not going with a DSLR (especially if you like photography) because of the controls and the time it takes to learn, but because of the amount of money you're going to spend. Honestly thats the only down side to it.
DSLR's are great, a complete step up from P&S cameras. You have complete control of how you want the picture to look, which I love. I hate having to use people's P&S cameras and just take the picture and get a blown out sky or not be able to expose something correctly, etc. About a year and a half ago I wanted to get more into photography and wanted a Canon S3 IS, but I was told to just save up and step up to the DSLR and I did, haven't looked back.
If you want to start w/ a DSLR look into either a Rebel XTi body, Rebel XT, or a Canon 20D body. Then depending on more or less of what you want to shoot is how you're going to decide your lenses.
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