This is a wonderful machine; bought as my son's first good games console. Until now he has been using my husband's old Game Boy, with poky back and white screen and no backlight.
I agonised for ages about whether to spend the extra £50 on a DSi; I'm SO glad I didn't. The DS is absolutely perfect; the red glossy finish on ours looks great, it is incredibly easy to use, and I certainly don't want my 6 year old having a relatively unmonitored internet connection as with DSi. The cameras on DSi are fun, but of no use for real photography, and really a bit of a gimmick. I was tempted by the nice menu etc, but the DS menu is simple, clear, and very child-friendly.
There is an added advantage that he will be able to play GBA games from his cousins and friends, as well.
Overall, this is a superb entry-level games console, looks brilliant, is fantastically easy to use, yet supports a huge collection of games to suit all ages and tastes. I'd recommend it to any child, and for parents buying for Christmas, I'd advise it over the DSi; spend the extra £50 on some great games.