I recently got a digital SLR. I decided to pay more for the most recent consumer model over the earlier generation. Lots of places recommended the Nikon D40. But most sites recommended Canon system over Nikon in general. The XSi also had some features like live view, bigger LCD, and better kit lens that I liked.
I also got two lenses in addition to the included 18-55mm IS kit lens. I got the Canon EF-S 55-250mm IS telephoto zoom that matches the kit lens. I also got the Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 which was supposed to be cheap, fast prime.
I got some pictures with it on my recent trip that I wouldn’t have been able to get with my old camera. The quick response allowed taking some series of photos of moving subjects. I got some great photos with the telephoto. The image stabilization was very handy when zoomed all the way out. I got a couple of pictures with the prime lens in low light that probably wouldn’t have turned out otherwise. I took a few workable pictures inside the aquarium without a flash. The flash fill improved a couple of pictures of people taken in sunlight.