It’s a question every photographer gets: what camera should I buy? Heck, there’s even a variation most established pros ask themselves: what camera do I really want? (I, for the record, have two standard answers right now – Olympus E-P2 with a 17 mm f/2.8 lens or a Leica M9 with a 35 mm Summilux lens. Neither of which are reasonable purchases but both of which I am positive would bring me much photographic happiness.)
Mike Johnston over at The Online Photographer has a great quasi-fictional 25 step path the delineates the process most people will go through – and sums up the eventual cost of buying a “cheap” camera when you want to get into photography.