What is a good beginner SLR camera?

Hi, I am looking to get a SLR camera and start taking photos. I love photography, but theres only so much my little Sony Cybershot can do. So what would you recommend for a good beginner camera, where I can learn/try out various things. I know SLR cameras are expensive, but I prefer something that is relatively... show more Hi,
I am looking to get a SLR camera and start taking photos. I love photography, but theres only so much my little Sony Cybershot can do. So what would you recommend for a good beginner camera, where I can learn/try out various things. I know SLR cameras are expensive, but I prefer something that is relatively inexpensive, but good value. I want to stay away from Canon, because I know their lens cost a LOT!
Thank you for your help. =)
Update: A friend of mine who is into photography told me to stay away from Canon, because apparently they are a lot more expensive. I really don't mind spending around $500. I am guessing that where the generic starter cameras will start?
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