I have wanted a Rebel for quite a while now. My boyfriend bought me one for Christmas. I was in my glory. I still have not made use of all its capabilities (like wireless uploading), but I am crazy about this camera. Let me start by saying that ever if you're a tech geek, if you are not big on photography, this camera is not for you. It does not shoot video. It only displays shots after you take them (ie. you must look through the viewfinder to set up a shot). It does have automatic setting, but primarily is meant to be used as a manual SLR.
This camera comes bundled with great software for budding photographer. It also allows you to capture raw images. I am not a photographer by profession, but I love to play a photographer, so this camera has been incredible for me. It's had a bit of a learning curve since all my manual SLR experience has been with a 35mm. There's a whole world of digital photography that I'm just starting to learn (and at times makes me yearn for the days of the dark room).
The camera weighs about 4 pounds with lens. It has a built in sensor cleaner which blows air to remove dust when you turn off the camera. It is silent. The shutter sound is average. Shooting speed is quick, which if you've ever owned a Canon digital camera, you know that is an issue with certain models. This one does not suffer it's little Canon siblings shooting speed problems. You can purchase this camera with or without a lens and Canon offers a decent array of extras you can purchase for it.
I do not shoot in raw format. I use JPG. I've found picture clarity to be phenomenal. Overall, this is camera is well worth the cost so long as you don't plan on just using it for family outings. If you're just a family shot type of person there are much better cameras for less money well suited to your needs. If you're a recreational photographer or a budding professional photographer, this camera is for you.
An added note, when you buy items like this through Amazon, you will recieve a code for Shutterfly.com for various FREE items. For this one I was able to make a free 12 month photo calendar for the cost of shipping (around $3.00). For another item I purchases, I recieved free photo cards like you would send out in Christmas cards. The current freebie for this camera purchase is a free 8x8 photobook. I added this to say, that I have used many of these Shutterfly codes from Amazon. They do work. You pay only for shipping and Shutterfly produces quality products.