Thanks for all your suggestions everyone - so this is where i am now...
1) I would not like the AA batteries in the SX1 and would much prefer the Lithium battery in the dslr'sYou can get high quality rechargable AA batteries for the SX1
2) And I would really like having video on the SX1You may need to choose between still photography and video, if you are on a budget. Most entry level DSLR's do not have videos. If video AND stills are important, then Panasonic's GH1 maybe an option. I have heard good things about their video and still implementation.
3) And I would like having the huge zoom rather than spending thousands of dollars on new lensesHuge zooms on DSLR's will indeed cause quite a lot. Again, if you're on a budget, and REQUIRE high amount of zoom, then DSLR is not an option.
4) - BUT i still dont have a straight answer on how well this camera performs against the dslr's with stillsHere's my answer. The image quality on a DSLR will be better than that of a SX1. The difference is mostly determined by the size of the sensor. The bigger sensor on a DSLR will allow for MUCH better low light performance. It will also allow you to control depth of field in a creativity way. See this:
I don't believe it's possible to achieve the above result with an SX1.
5) I am leaning towards a dslr because i want to take my photography further but i dont know with which brand to go with - some people say the Nikon kit lenses are better and that you will have to spend allot of money on a cannon lens to get a good one, but Nikon's customer support is terrible and allot of people complain about the 1000D's annoying menu system...what do you think about this? Generally they're all decent cameras, and you should try it out in store. (Luckily?) You're on a budget, so your choice will be limited to 2 or 3 cameras.
The Nikon D3000 and Canon 1000D certainly sound like good choices to start with. Pick it up, play with it, and see which one you like better.
I personally have the Canon 1000d, and am happy with it. I like the 1000d menu system fine.
6) Here is what camera labs has to say about D300 vs. 1000D...
- Canon’s EOS 1000D / Rebel XS is over a year older than the D3000, but remains Canon’s current entry-level DSLR and hence the main rival for the new budget Nikon. Both the 1000D / XS and D3000 share the same 10 Megapixel resolution, 3fps continuous shooting and the same range from their 18-55mm stabilised kit lenses.
In its favour, the Canon features Live View, a depth-of-field preview facility and comes with free software to remote-control the camera from a PC or Mac, along with a much more sophisticated RAW processing application. In its favour, the D3000 features a slightly more sophisticated 11-point AF system (versus 7-point), a larger 3in screen (versus 2.5in), viewfinder gridlines and a friendlier user interface for beginners.
But for many beginners, the lack of Live View on any new DSLR is a deal-breaker, and crucially as an older model, the Canon has already enjoyed online discounting, making it look competitively priced compared to the D3000 – at least during its first few months on sale anyway.
I dont think i need live view but i would really not like having grid lines - however, i really like the idea of controlling the camera with your computer, but i am a beginner so i guess the GUIDE mode would help me.In my opinion, most live view systems on DSLR are marketed to the beginner as simple-to-use point&shoot experience. But ultimately, they're useless to newbies in that situation. I only ever use Live View for stationary objects, and manual focus. There are cetainly grid lines available for DSLR viewfinders, but those models maybe out of your budget.
I've heard good things about the live-view system on the Panasonic GH1.
I also like controlling the camera with computer, and that's one of the reason I chose Canon over Nikon as they offer a free program along with the camera.
Can someone explain this RAW stuff - why is it no good on the D3000?
Thanks for all your help,