I'm still a greenhorn shooting a CanonEOS 400D as a starter body with the 18-55mm Canon EFS lens that came with it. I am interested in a telephoto to allow better candid shots of the kids at play and to try my hand at some wildlife photography. I want a solid starter lens for these tasks - something durable with good quality that balances my need for ease-of-use as a beginner with my need for room to grow as I learn. If I ever get to a point of competency I'll probably know better what I want, so I don't need to try to get the Porsche this first time around - nor am I confident enough in my decision to spend that sort of money right now, anyway! I'm thinking something in the 70-300mm range is probably right. But I don't know how to choose the right brand and model for my needs. Does anyone know of a good guide someone like myself can get to help educate myself for a decision like this? What are the most important things to consider for this first lens purchase? What do you wish you had known before you bought your first lens?