BleuDragon is correct about the Rebel name being very recognizable in the USA market. It precedes digital cameras; name recognition is important in the USA market.
On the original topic, well, first, welcome to the forum!
The XTi is still a quite capable camera. Its digital Rebel successors have added video capability, so consider that if video is important. I started serious digital photography with an XTi that my wife bought from a friend, and we still have it.
Gordon's reviews are quite good, at the main Cameralabs site.