Hello everyone i am new to this forum and new to dslr's in general. I have been into 35mm photography for about a year now and have decided to upgrade to a dslr and i am looking for some sound advice (not just the advise of some 18 year old kid in a blue shirt at best buy :lmao. Here is what i am looking at. My fiance decided she would get me a Dslr for christmas. She is willing to spend up to $700. So i have been looking at all of these options 1.) Sony a300 - I am attracted to the fact that liveview has the tilt screen which would help with taking shots low to the ground or above my head. I also like the fact that the image stabilization is builit into the camera which would allow for any lense to have IS. However i have heard negative things about sony's from the sale people at circuit city and best buy (though as you can tell im not sure how much i trust their advice!) 2.) Nikon D60- This camera seemed to have a good reputation and relatively easy controls. The D60 however doesnt have liveview and the lens seem to be alittle be more expensive because they have builit in VR 3.) Canon Xsi- This camera seems to have better autofocus than the nikon as well as more megapixels. It also has the live view. However it seems to have more exspensive lens as well . So i have a few questions for more experienced photographers. First off how useful is liveview? Is it something that is just nice to have or is it extremely useful to have? Also i have heard that liveview will kill your battery life. Is this exchange for use worth the battery life? Also how about image quality? will all 3 be close to the same or will one or the other be better? As for auto-focus i have never had any autofocus on my film slr so how often do most people actually use it compared to manual focus? Since manual focus i am so used to. Is a 3 point autofocus that much different in quality compared to a 9 point system? I dont really think that i plan on having a HUGE number of lens for my camera so i dont really know how much alittle more pricey lens would bother me. I am just looking for the best camera for a beginner in the dslr field which will last me as well as grow with me as my skill grows. I'll take any and all opinions as i am really puzzled as to which camera i should get. Thanks in advance to everyone!