I want to preface this by saying I am buying my first digital camera for hobbyist reasons - I want better pictures of the places I travel to and places that I visit. (So far I have always used digital snapshots cameras such as Nikon Coolpix and a Canon prior to that.) I'm going to be buying this camera for my girlfriend, but she's pretty much inline with me as to what we want and experience in the area. If you could help me make a decision and share your expertise, I would be most grateful! Anyway, our friend used a Canon EOS XSi (I believe, maybe Xs) and she took very nice pictures and I was generally impressed and after some time I want to get one as well now. So I have a few questions. I am looking to purchase the Canon T1i because it has video, although from what I've read it really isn't worth the ~$200 price increase over the Rebel XSi when it comes to picture quality. Does this sound accurate? Also, I plan to keep this camera for years, probably 5+ since I am only using this as a hobby and don't need the latest, greatest technology (I just want very nice pictures). Is it reasonable that it should last this long? Also, I have seen the T1i in packages (online) with a lens that prices around 750-850 USD depending on the extras. I know my friend with her Rebel has a nice telephoto lens (I believe she said it cost her around $200-300). However, what can I expect just from the "base" lens that all these packages seem to come with? Is it HIGHLY recommended to buy an extra battery? I would think these batteries would last a while for obvious reasons, but I'd rather not be on a trip with a dead battery, thus effectively no camera. What should I expect to pay for a tripod and what should I look for? In one newegg package I saw the t1i came with a tripod although it's tough to judge how nice a tripod is from merely pictures. What's the general consensus when buying a digital camera online as far as returns, reputable companies, and warranty concerns? The last thing I would want is to get a bad camera and be screwed over for more money by dealing with returns or a flat-out bad purchase. Thank you so much for reading!