There are many cameras to choose from, Canon, Nikon, etc. Have a look at the link Ryan posted and do as much research as you can. Its really a matter of taste as to which make you want to get. You need to ask what you want to do. Do you want to be able to change lenses, do you need telephoto lenses, 200mm, 300mm etc.
I suppose good entry level DSLR would be a Canon 300D, I don't know the Nikon equivilant, you can invest in better lenses later, and it will give you a feel for digital. A lot of photographers on a.net use this camera and say nothing but good things about it. Also it comes with a baisic software package Photoshop Elements 2.0. Most photogs here use PS
The decision is yours
Edit: Also go to a camera shop and try out a few cameras, rent them out if you can and see for youself what you like, but do as much research as you can, and practice practice practice. Search the forums for tips on post processing, its been discussed a lot here so just look them up.
[Edited 2005-03-04 09:32:30]