On to the next level....
Years after I first thought of getting one, I finally took the plunge and bought my first DSLR, A Canon EOS 1000D (known in the US as the Digital Rebel XS and in Japan as the EOS Kiss F). It's an entry-level 10.1 megapixel DSLR, and the cheapest member of Canon's EOS line.
Despite my long-standing interest in photography, it took me several years to get one because I had to wait for prices to come down, and I had to overcome my concerns that DSLRs may be too difficult for me to use, after years of being spoiled by point-and-shoot compacts and bridge cameras.
Thankfully, the EOS 1000D brings the best of both worlds, and brings more to the table. It can be used as a simple point-and-shoot camera by simply setting everything on automatic. Yes, it kind of defeats the purpose of using a DSLR if I set everything on auto, but if I need it to do the thinking for me, it'll do so in a snap. It has better zoom capabilities than your typical bridge camera, and these capabilities can even be improved if I need better performance (though I have to invest in more powerful lenses). Lastly, in it's manual modes, I can experiment with all sorts of aperture, sensitivity, shutter-speed and focus settings. Of course, as with all DSLRs, there's the flexibility of using all sorts of lenses and filters to achieve different photographic effects. These sort of accessories are a bit expensive though, so let's just save that bit for the future.
Here are some photos: