Lots of terrific new digital SLR cameras out these days, and here's another on the hit parade - the Pentax K100D.
Unlike some of the other new digital SLRs, this model only has 6 megapixels, but as they say, it's not what you have, it's how you use it, and the K100D makes the most of its sensor with clear, sharp images.
It also has high-ISO (up to 3200) capabilities and in-camera anti-shake, and can run on AA batteries or CR-V3 lithiums, very useful on trips or other places where AC power isn't readily available.
Here's DPReview's "Highly Recommended" take on the K100D.
PopPhoto weighs in here.
Imaging Resource gives the K100D a thumbs up.
DCResource also gives the K100D a strong recommendation, saying "...this entry-level digital SLR won me over with its excellent photo quality, built-in image stabilizer, and low price."
Lots of very good things said about a camera with a street price just over $600. If that's still a little too much for you, Pentax also makes the K110D - basically the same camera without the in-camera vibration reduction and priced $100 lower.