My wife has got into photography, in a big way.
Started with digcams, as normal, then moved to a bridge camera (Panny Lumix DMC-FZ28) when she got more serious.
After finding the bridge camera too limiting for what she wanted to do, she moved onto DSLRs. First a Nikon D40, and then... a Nikon D90
She loves it, and has a fair selection of lenses for it now, plus goes to a camera club, tinkers in Photoshop, etc.
I can't remember all the reasons she went for Nikon rather than e.g. Canon (although one, IIRC, was due to Nikon lens mounts staying constant compared to other makes), but I do know that she looked into the options thoroughly and is still extremely pleased with her choice.
Some example pics of hers, using the D90:
Homecoming of the Royal Anglian Regiment, June 2010