I wanted to post this as a follow up in my virgin post in the "new member" forum, but thread has been closed.
After considering what I wanted in a camera, I was close to buying a Canon EOS 550D, but decided with my very limited knowledge of DSLR cameras (a Canon G3 was the best camera I've ever owned thus far) I might be better starting with a fixed lens camera to start with. The Leica Digilux 2 apparently has its quirks, but seems to be quite user friendly and capable of producing excellent images, so after researching it thoroughly and deciding that it should satisfy my short term needs, purchased one yesterday and should have it next week. I look forward to contributing some pics here in the future. This is a great site with some hugely talented and knowledgable people, and I'm learning all the time.
My next purchase will be software for photo editing, not sure which way to go yet, I have a working knowledge of cropping, sharpening etc.... but more research needed before I purchase.