Well I'm not really a beginner anymore, so I guess that's bad
As for the dSLR, I'm waiting on the one with a live LCD so I don't have to do the borg imitation with my face planted on the camera in order to compose. That's just not how I care to work. And you know how we artists are -- temperamental, irrational, and set in our ways! I hope I don't have to wait too much longer because I'm getting impatient.
Rumor is Sony and Panasonic have one in the works, maybe being announced at one of the trade shows early 2005. For all we know Michael may have one in his coat pocket as we type, and is testing it under NDA. I'm also looking for a substantial increase in pixel count over my 828, say 14+ megapixels!