About the focal length for LHR
, I will let some English guys here help you with that one as I have never shot there.
Yes, "glass" means the lens. The first choice you have to do is whether you want Nikon or Canon camera/lenses. They both make excellent photos, but Canon arguably is slightly ahead of Nikon in terms of lens variety
The best thing would be to go to a photo shop and try holding a Nikon and then a Canon, and see if one feels particularly good in your hands (or particularly bad for that matter). I personally use Canon, so I can only vouch for them. An excellent starter body is the 300D. Many people on this site (including myself) shoot with that camera, and it produces some excellent results.
Lenses are VERY important, almost more important than a high-megapixel body. For Canon, their professional lenses are from the "L" series. Any lens that has a name such as "70-200 L
" pretty much means excellent quality. Then you have lenses that have "IS
", which is Canon's "Image Stabilization" system. It keeps the image steady under slight shakes, allowing you to shoot in lower light than normal. If you are not ready to spend so much on the lens alone, there are plenty of consumer-grade lenses available for much cheaper, but at a compromise for quality.
If you want examples, you can check out my photos (link is in my profile). All are done with the 300D, and apart from the latest 2 added, were shot with consumer grade lenses.
Hope this helps, and if you have more questions, just ask!
I guess that's what happens in the end, you start thinking about the beginning.