The two in your price range would be the XTi and the D40. Your going to end up with lesser kit lens that are out now and a focal range of 27-78mm that is not stabilized. You'd be better off saving a few more bucks to buy the D60 or XSi. Then it'd be up to which one felt most comfortable in your hands. It's not a cheap hobby and takes some time to learn about how to use the camera. It's not a point and shoot, even though it has some auto modes(they're there as a buffer while you learn).
Im in the market for a digital SLR camera and this will be my first SLR. In other words Im just a beginner. My choices are down to two- Canon or Nikon. But I do not know which model to buy. Since Im just a beginner my budget is just up to 650 tops. What do you think is the best SLR camera for me? Thanks!