Some advice on what to by as a beginner or advanced digital SLR photographer.

First of all we can't advice you on brand. I'm sure Nikon, minolta and Pentax or others have a fine range of digital SLR's but we never used them. Simply because we already owned some Canon EF glass we choose the EOS 300D.

Our advice to you:

Once you've chosen to take Canon consider these aspects:

Level Camera Lenses
Consumer 300D/350D EF-S 18-55 & EF100-300
Prosumer 10D/20D EF17-40 & EF50 II & EF70-200 f/4 (Optional EF1.4x II)
semi professional 20D EF17-40 & EF50 II & EF70-200 f/4 or f/2.8 (Optional EF1.4x II)
Professional (sports) 1D IIN & 20D EF16-35 & EF50 f/1.0L USM & EF70-200 f/2.8L IS USM & EF1.4X II & EF2x II
Professional (wildlife/paparazzi) 1D IIN & 20D EF100-400 L IS USM & >EF400 L lenses
Professional Studio 1Ds II or 5D EF16-35, EF50 f/1.0L, EF20, EF28

Our little story:

At the time (it was beginning 2004) the 300D was one of the top consumer cams available on the market and the prices just started to settle. We even found one 2nd hand saving about 400 euros compared a new camera.

The first thing we did was to sell the EF-S18-55 lens and replaced it with a Cosina 19-35. The Cosina was a very good lens however we wanted some more zoom capabilities.

I found an EF35-350 lens for sale  2nd hand to replace our Sigma 70-300 DL zoom. The Sigma was not compatible when using the 300D, err99 caused us to sell it. However the EF35-350 is very heavy and while testing it we decided it was too heavy for our every day use. Alternatively (and for the same price) we bought our first set of professional lenses. The 17-40 f/4L USM and the 70-200 f/4L USM. Both budget and weight stopped us from buying more light sensitive lenses (like the 16-35 f/2.8L USM and the EF70-200 f/2.8L IS USM).

We wanted to be able to carry the equipment when hiking during the holydays in far away countries therefore the weight concern. Of course this investment made us sell the Cosina 19-35 lens as well as the 70-300 Sigma.

As there was a gap between 40 an 70 mm we started looking for something that could fill this. The 28-105 and 28-135IS lenses were first choice, however the first turned out to be relatively unsharp and the 28-135IS lens was just too expensive for our budget. We then realised that we actually did not miss the lens in between and got a EF50 f/2.5 Compact macro instead. When needed we could use this lens to fill the gap by just stupping one step forward or backward in stead of zooming.

This new lens was a good buy. It is extremely sharp from f/2.5 and up (or do we call it down ;) ) and we use it very often as our walk arround lens.

In the mean time we bought an EOS IX combined with an EF24-85. This lens turned out well but as we don't use it much we gave it to Kim's father together with the EOS 500 we still had. In this way we can still use it as a backup when needed.