Originally Posted by jwalker
Also, many SLR's, even the renowned makes, have lenses of poor optical quality in there range and the buyer needs to be aware of this. As a rough guide, if the difference in cost between the body alone and the body + lens is not great, then the lens is likely to be a dog. Although I own one, I recognise that Canon are as guilty of this as any other manufacturer.
Very true - but in the way of all things you can find plenty of good lens reviews on the web which can help your decision. All manufacturers tend to have 2 groups of lens:
Up to £400 (ish) - consumer lenses - some crackers in there, and some lemons
over £700 - pro zoom or speciality lenses - costly but often worth it if you can afford it
It seems to go the same way with the SLR bodies - you get 3fps shooting and a reasonable buffer for under £600. If you want 8fps then you're looking at £2K+. The pro bodies also have much more bits to tweak and fiddle with, and superior autofocus etc.
Its worth having a good trawl through review sites to decide what you want! As people have said, the end image quality is the thing to concentrate on, and as codders pointed out, some of the cheaper cameras can suprise.