Of the budget DSLR's, I'd say the Nikon D3100 is the best buy, compared to the Canon T3, Pentax K-x, and Sony A390. In my mind, another very strong performer would be Panasonic's Micro 4/3 camera, the G3. The still photo quality will be very close to the D3100, plus it will be more compact, and with superior movie mode. It will be more money though, since it is new to the market...about $700.
I am willing to buy from a $600 range for the body and starter lens kit. Which dslr do you recommend?