A lot of people have already helped my understanding of what might suit me for my next camera purchase. I have been doing a LOT of research, especially about DSLRs as many recommended. There are a few things which I am not sure about with DSLRs, maybe some wouldn't mind putting me straight about them...
1. A few things have worried me about the entry level DSLRs. I handled a D3100 and a Sony A350 in a second hand store, and some of the lenses seemed very light and plasticky - in fact one was broken. I also see a LOT of these cameras being sold on eBay secondhand, even though they are still being sold new in stores. One camera shop assistant was of the opinion that the 1100D and D3100 were not good quality, and a proper starting level would be more like a 600D or D5100.
2. It appears that most kit lenses on entry level DSLRs (D3100 1100D 600D etc and maybe kit lenses on any model) do not do macro (or maybe just not very good macro) One thing I read, inferred a closest focus of 9 inches or so for a 18-55mm kit lens, and I am used to 1 or 2 cm on my cheapies.
3. I have read that a lens that does the full zoom range, i.e. 18-300mm as an example, will not be very good quality (maybe no better than on bridge cameras) and that I need to get 2 lenses at least, say 18-55 and 55-300. If I also need a macro lens (see #1 above) this is getting expensive!
4. I read that some cameras do only compressed RAW. As one of my reasons for getting a new camera is to get one that does RAW, is this a problem?