This is only my 6th camera purchase in 45 years. Brownie 127, Zenith E, Miranda Sensomat, Olympus OM1, and for the last 6 years, an Olympus 1.3Mp digital snapshot camera. If you're similarly inclined, and if you've found yourself taking great digital pictures at lousy quality over the past few years, then reward yourself now. This is, as my kids would say, an absolutely awesome piece of kit. The build quality needs to be felt to be understood, and the ergonomic design is outstanding. The vast array of functions seems daunting at first, but the buttons and control wheels are so amazingly well placed that this camera will become a natural extension to your hands and eye in no time at all. Straight out of the box, with everything set to auto, I took a picture to die for on the first outing. Lens quality - even the cheap basic 18-70 - is terrific. Autofocus 'just works', exposure metering hasn't let me down yet, and the ability to work with all modes down to full manual is well laid out and easy to switch in a hurry. The TTL Flash gives this an intelligent flash which I have hardly stretched yet, but looks good indeed. Various comments about battery life, but to me shooting a 2Gb CF card with 320 fine quality large JPG images is adequate on one charge. Spare battery would be a useful purchase though.
Quite simply, if you're thinking of spending £600 on a plastic DSLR, spending double the money on a magnesium alloy gem as well designed and engineered as this is a no brainer. Go on - you deserve it!