May I wish you a warm welcome to the CameraLabs forum.
That's a really difficult question to answer. I could argue that the best one is the one that feels most comfortable in your hands, the one with the most rugged build quality, the one with the best system of lenses and accessories, the manufacturer that offers you the preferred upgrade path to the next level of camera body and so on and so on...
I don't review cameras so I can afford to be quite biased sometimes, though I try not to be. I'm not a fan of the four-thirds standard as it always seemed perverse to me for a camera system to adopt a 4:3 picture aspect ratio when the world is going widescreen and I personally didn't like the feel of the Nikon DSLRs around at my then lowish budget when I chose between Canon and Nikon a few years ago. I chose Canon because I did like the feel of the 400D that I bought and it definitely fitted the bill in terms of upgradability for both body and lenses (see my Signature below for where I am now). However, if I was asked to choose between the 1000D and the K-x with no expectation of a significant body upgrade in the future and if the K-x felt comfortable in hand (very important) you know I might just opt for the K-x.
It's been well reviewed (here
), it has more pixels but still has good low light capability, has a faster frame rate for continuous shooting and it does movies. And if there are a few extra pennies in the budget you should be able to find it as a two lens kit (Pentax K-x + 18-55mm + 55-300mm Lens) for under £500 compared to £349 for the K-x with the standard 18-55mm kit lens. While an extra £150 is a lot of money the Pentax SMC DA 55-300mm F4-5.8 ED Lens would cost £280 if bought separately (prices from Park Cameras
OK, I've now upset the Canon, Nikon and Olympus guys but I'm sure they'll fight their corner vigorously, albeit with our customary CameraLabs good humour. Good luck with your decision.