Sorry first and foremost, i know how annoying it must be for regular forum members to constantly offer identical advice to these kind of threads. However, for peace of mind, i just want someone to lead me down the right path.

I've been looking at review sites, and it seems a good value/high quality DSLR would be the Canon EOS 500D or 550D (i would ideally like a camera that takes good quality movie clips, preferably in HD 720 or 1080). Lens kits are reasonable on Amazon and Jessops, so i was headed down that route.

BUT, my sister who studies photography at school tells me i can get a body that's just as good as the 500D but for less than 400 quid. For the specs i want (at least 12mp and video), is she right?

Also, would anyone recommend i have a look at Nikons (3000 or 5000) as opposed to Canon? Or should i even look at a hybrid system?

Many thanks in advance