So I have some extra money coming, and I may spend it on a DSLR. I have always wanted one as I would really like to get into photography. I have owned a couple of basic point and shoot cameras but the options were extremely limited and I really haven't been able to do anything. I think with a DSLR I would not only learn a great deal about photography (through the camera and with some books I have on taking pictures with SLR cameras) but would also be able to produce some amazing photos. My problem is mostly money, and trying to buy something that fits my budget while not at the same time wasting my money. To be honest if I buy in the next couple of months I will probably only have the money for an XS or XSi if I was to buy new, of course in that case all I would have is the camera with the out of the box 18-55 lens. If I bought used I have seen many 20D and 30D cameras on Ebay in my price range and if I purchased one of those I could fork out the extra cash for a good Sigma Telephoto Lens (70-300mm). But now I have some questions. First off should I completely not look at Nikon cameras? I have read about noise in the Nikon cameras causing poor pictures to be produced. Is this true or just the anti-Nikon crowd talking? Also, can someone explain to me more about the F-stop on lenses? is a higher F-Number better or worse? Or does it matter based on the kind of pictures that are being taken? Would I be better off buying a new Rebel (say XSi) that has more Megapixels than the older 20D or 30D but of course the 20D and 30D take more shots per second and are more durable. For a not-even-novice photographer like myself what route do you think I am better off going? This is just a starting point to get ideas. I don't know when I will be able to spring for a new camera, I am hoping to in the next month or so but we will see what happens.