I use the term rigging to refer to the subject of this photo as I have no idea what the correct terminology is...
Nice colours - was it a dull day though?
--------It's political correctness gone mad!
FWIW, that's a tackleblock, used to gear ropes so they're easier to pull taut.
And now that I've called you nasty names, I'll ask: What would you recommend I buy?
As far as which DSLR to buy; that's a difficult one.
Firstly, if you have any existing lenses (and they are not completely rubbish) then buy the DSLR made by the manufacturer of those lenses.
Otherwise, I can suggest Canon or Nikon. I use a Canon 300d (aka Digital Rebel); the current entry-level is the 400d. Play around with both a Canon and Nikon and see which feels better.
And when you have one, plspostpixkthnx. --
U.S. Patent 5443036 concerns a device for encouraging a cat to exercise by chasing a light spot.