While most people buy Canon and Nikon because they are the 'big, professional' names they know, I've always been a Pentax fan since I learned to use an SLR through my dad's old metal body film camera of the 60s/70s.
That old film camera is still going strong today and still takes fantastic pictures - though why wouldn't it, it was built to last and built with precision.
When I bought my first SLR it was a Pentax, and when the time came to switch to digital Pentax were not ready for me.
I toyed with going down the Canon / Nikon route, and I'm sure I wouldn't have been disapointed, but I had a small collection of Pentax K lenses that it would be nice to carry on using.
When the K10D came out my wishes were granted and once I had the not inconsiderable money saved I went straight out and purchased. I have not been disapointed.
I bought the body with an 18-55mm 'digital' lens. That basically means that it is the equivalent of an 18-55mm lens on a 35mm camera, though the actual focal length is less as the sensor on the K10D is less than 35mm. (It's all to do with ratios and angles, remember).
From my film camera had two more zoom lenses to play with. A 28-80 and an 80-320. The 28-80 giving an effective 35-112mm range on the K10D and the 80-320 giving me a whopping 112-448mm telephoto. The ratio being approximately x1.4 for conversion.
The only thing you lose with the older lenses is ome of the aperture control - you can still control it through the full range of the lens, just not via the same controls as on a 'digital' lens.
Thsi gives me a pretty impressive range that would have cost me a small fortune to replace had the lenses not been compatible.
So, my decision was pretty easy to make, but if you are trying to chose between Pentax and the 'big names' then you should be aware that the K10D has consistently won prizes as best in class when pitted against the Nikons and Canons that compare with this model.
The K10D gives you as much creative control as you could need, but is simple to use at the same time.
It's a solid, weighty, well built piece of kit and I could not be happier that I supported Pentax with this purchase - and given the reviews and plaudits this camera has received I feel the world is beginning to agree.