You saw my shot in the other thread, and the camera I used there is very good. Olympus E-500, and it comes with two lenses in the kit (14-45mm and 40-150mm). It has a 2x crop factor, so the lenses are actually 28-90mm and 80-300mm. The lenses are quite sharp and have good contrast. The quality of the photos is on par with the Rebel XT
and Nikon D50. It's sold at a VERY reasonable price from most locations. I know you live in NY, so avoid buying stuff from B&H, only because you'll have to pay sales tax. Go there to try cameras out and get feedback from the staff, but then order online from a company that's not based in NY state. You'll end up paying a lot less.
I'm probably the only Olympus DSLR advocate here, but I'm speaking from experience, having used a variety of manufacturers (albeit admittedly not DSLRs from all of them).
If you want more information, drop me a line on e-mail through my profile.
www.stellaryear.com: Canon EOS 50D, Canon EOS 5DMkII, Sigma 50mm 1.4, Canon 24-70 2.8L II, Canon 100mm 2.8L, Canon 100-4