Nice post! You are absolutely correct about most people thinking if they get a DSLR, they'll be able to use it right out the box to get the same type of photo you have posted. When I first used my, I must admit, I was a bit intimidated, and kept the camera in auto for a month until I could read the manual and understand what I was doing. I had an SLR a long time ago, and barely knew what I was doing then, but it was all manual, and with some tips from the sales associate, I was able to get good shots from it. I had 35mm, 50mm & 100mm lenses, and all were manual focus. I was hard core. 😉 After using digital point and shoot cams, I realized I needed to go back to the "real thing". I bought a Canon XT/350. This was Canon's second Rebel, which started bringing more people over to DSLRs due to the "lower" price range of $1,000. I bought mine for half the price, just as they introduced the XTi. Didn't want to spend too much if the camera wasn't right for me. A number of people in the forums told me to get this camera with a good lens, and I will get great photos with practice. They were right. I bought a pro lens (17-40mm) & a 50/1.8 lens. Since I always had a creative eye, I was able to take good shots, which got better once I switched to the aperture mode. I have since added more pro & prime lenses, and now realize that I have outgrown my consumer DSLR. You really need to grow into your equipment. By the way, I think if anyone without experience were to buy a pro camera body and lens, and kept it in the auto mode, they would get better pictures than a point and shoot, because the photos would be sharper, with more dynamic range and contrast. However, they would have the creativity a more experienced photographer has. Also, they could use Photoshop Elements or Picasa to sharpen, straighten and add more contrast to their point and shoot photos, and be happier with the results!