Having been away from 'proper cameras' for the best part of 10 years I decided to venture into the world of DSLR's. My Dad and Brother had both bought Nikon D40s last year and I was impressed with their results, so I had already decided on a Nikon. I spent a couple of months weighing up whether to buy the D40's replacement, the D3000 or blow my budget and buy the new D3100. In the end, after reading lots of reviews and a slight drop in price I went for the D3100. I made the right choice!!!
The updated guide mode (improved from the D3000) makes taking superb pictures simple, even for a novice such as me. Picture's are superb, warm and clear, and I am thoughly pleased with the results. Live view is a good addition if setting up group shots on a tripod to then be taken on the self timer, but for all other shots I've found the viewfinder to be much better and quicker at focusing.
The bonus for me was also the inclusion of full HD video (which can only be used in Live view mode). I had read reports that the video was a bit shakey or wobbily, and that the video record button was in an awkward place, but I've got to say that I have found video to be fine taking 'normal videos' (I have never felt the need to shake the camera vilently from side to side to make the film shakey whilst filming; as shown on some video reviews I had seen - to prove that video was shakey?). As for the record button being in an awkward place... I've found it to be fine. In fact, no different to most compact camera's (with video) that I've owned.
This camera is everything that I had hoped for, and a little bit more. I probably wont buy another 'proper camera' for quite a few years and so I wanted something that would not only last, but would help me rediscover photography and allow me to grow. If you are a novice and/ or, returning to photography after a considerable time away, then I would highly recommend the Nikon D3100.