You're going to spend $800 to $1000 upfront for new, maybe half that for used.
(We can strip mine the rest later.)
--------It's political correctness gone mad!
"To this day that was the most bullshit caesar salad I have every experienced..." - triggerfinger
If I had to buy right now I'd strongly consider a Sony NEX. They've got the same sensor size as an APS-C SLR but they're wee and the lenses are also small.
The decently big sensor helps make high ISOs look better, and there are primes available with nice large apertures.
I do love my Canon DSLR. If I'm going out just to take pictures it's the SLR. If I'm going on vacation, the kids are enough of a handful that I sacrifice photo quality and bring the wee P+S that slips in a pocket.
Just a thought.
Camera - might be worth having a look at a four thirds camera, which is somewhere between a compact and an SLR. The newer ones take fantastic photos. A big problem with SLRs (aside from the price) is how conspicuous they are, and also how much room they take up in your luggage.
I don't know enough about four thirds to recommend any, but a friend who is a semi-pro photographer has abandoned his SLR for his four thirds when he's taking digital pics. I think only Olympus do them. Don't know much about the technology, apart from that it's a different sensor system that doesn't need a mirror.
Really it's just ditching the mirror + optical viewfinder. Saves a ton of space and mechanical complexity. Now design a new lens mount that sits close to the sensor, giving a compact form-factor.
I think micro four thirds are made by Olympus and Panasonic. The NEX is similar but the sensor is much bigger, same as a crop sensor DSLR, so you've got better noise control, higher ISO, etc. etc. The new Nikon 1 in the ads is similar but has an even smaller sensor then the micro 3/4 cameras... pass.
Really it's all about the glass and sensor size, and there's nice m4/3 and nex lenses available. If you're really perverse you can get adapters and scrounge yard sales to buy old film camera primes for pocket change.