I found the Nikon D5000 to be a most interesting camera with an impressive feature list. It sits between base-level and top notch models, so it should have wide appeal.
Nikon D5000 Features
The camera uses a DX-sized 12.3 megapixel CMOS sensor and 12-bit analog-to-digital conversion, backed up by Nikon’s EXPEED image processing system. The same sensor is found in the Nikon D90: 23.6×15.8mm and producing an effective picture angle of 1.5x, so an 18-55m kit lens equates (in 35 SLR terms) to a 27-83mm zoom.