Konica Minolta Maxxum 5D (although, she told me they just bought Sony or Sony bought them and the cameras would be changing) ($599)
Sony acquired some of Konica Minolta's assets and will be launching DSLR models that can use the same lenses (any Autofocus Lens designed for Maxxum or Dynax series cameras will work on the new Sony Alpha DSLR models, too).
Sony is also taking over warranty obligations for Konica Minolta digital cameras as part of the arrangement with Konica Minolta.
Sony Support for Konica Minolta Cameras, Lenses and Accessories
Effective April 1, 2006, Sony Electronics will be providing service and repair of certain Konica-Minolta products in the United States. Sony is pleased to provide existing Konica-Minolta customers an excellent customer service experience. All terms and conditions of the Konica-Minolta products' limited warranty continue to apply.
The first new Sony DSLR model should start showing up on store shelves towards the end of next month (Sonystyle is now quoting that it will be shipping on or before July 28th). It will list for $899 (body only) or $999 for a kit including the camera with an 18-70mm lens.
Here is a preview of the new Sony DSLR-A100 (a.k.a., Alpha 100)
It was based heavily on the Konica Minolta Maxxum 5D
I'm surprised that your local Ritz still has any 5Ds left in stock. Most retailers have been sold out for a couple of months now. But, you can sometimes find them at bargain prices while supplies last.
BTW, Wal-Mart has the Konica Minolta Maxxum 7D
for only $699 including an 18-70mm lens. Apparently, they made a deal with Konica Minolta for some of the remaining stock.
This DSLR body sold for $100 more than the Canon EOS-20D when it was first introduced, and $600 more than the Nikon D70.
Now, you can get them for less than half of that amount while supplies last (and most vendors are sold out). That's a steal for a body with it's build quality and features, and the anti-shake works with any lens you buy for it.
Lenses also become an investment with a DSLR. If you change camera bodies later due to advances in technology, you can usually take your lenses with you within the same brand, and Minolta Autofocus Lenses will work on new Sony DSLR models (and vice-versa, as new Sony lenses designed for their Alpha 100 DSLR will also work on Konica Minolta DSLR models).
Note that Minolta has manufactured over 16 Million Autofocus Lenses that are compatible with the Konica Minolta (and now Sony) DSLR models since 1985. That's not counting third party lenses in this lens mount from Tamron, Sigma, Tokina/Cosina/Phoenix/Vivitar, and even Kodak). The used market is full of lenses in Minolta Autofocus Mount. I bought most of my lenses used.
Note that I'm biased, since I'm currently shooting with a KM DSLR. ;-)