Thanks again for everyone's thoughts. I went ahead and got the Canon XSi the the kit and a Canon 250 telephoto lens. Cant wait 'til the arrive tomorrow (hopefully!).
One "final" question: while I consider myself a capable photographer, I've never really played around with much other than the automatic settings on my many cameras. Obviously, there's no point in getting a DSLR if I'm going to continue to do that.
Thought I'd just ask if anyone has a favorite "introduction to DSLRs" tutorial/resource (be it online, a book or a DVD/Video). Obviously, these forums are of great help, but think I want to start off with something more didactic.