Not that I think everyone's all that interested in why I decided not to get a Digital Single-Lens Reflex....... But I thought maybe someone else might be in a similar position. Or maybe you just like reading about cameras. I do. :-)
I have a Panasonic FZ5 that I love. It's four years old and is what's called a "bridge camera." I guess these are considered to be a bridge between point-and-shoots and DSLRs. I've been wishing for manual focus and other manual settings, plus more pixels to give me the option to print bigger than 11x14. So I started saving up for a DSLR. I figured it would cost about $1,000 plus the price of a couple of decent lenses.
I have several 35mm SLRs in my closet, and know the drill. I considered (and still do, in a way) SLRs/DSLRs to be the ultimate camera. I began to think like my dad when he talked about buying his "last car." He lived to be 90, and I believe he ended up buying four or five "last" cars. The DSLR, I figured, would be my last camera. I had a Nikon D90 in mind, but wanted to look at what was out there. I was excited about this, and happily embarked on some research.
As I got deeper into looking at these cameras and lenses, I realized that in order to duplicate what the current generation of bridge cameras offer, I'd need a wide angle lens, a 50mm 1.8, a couple of good zooms, and a macro. This quickly added up to way more than I wanted to spend. Also, I started remembering how heavy lenses can be, and how tiresome it was to lug them around, even in my youth. Worse, I thought about all the shots I'd miss while I was busy changing lenses. (And, living on a dusty dirt road as I do, lens changing could be hazardous to the camera.) I've been using super-zoom digital cameras since 2000, and I'm spoiled.
In the end, I decided to scrap my DSLR plans and get the next generation of Panasonic bridge cameras when it comes out later this year. It has everything I want and will cost under $400. And I'm fairly certain it won't be my last one. I might even get a second camera this year, something different. Now that I've decided not to get the DSLR, I'm feeling positively affluent.