I bought myself a Tamron 17-50 2.8 @ B&H for $419 (not imported, it's on sale) Bought myself a Giottos 9180 Tripod (but no ball head yet because Giottos just released new ballheads which look way better than the old ones.. they new tripods don't look any better). You can still mount the camera directly to the center column and this tripod is quite tall to begin with... I can wait a month in other words. My mom is getting a Canon a540 (which actually isn't that good of a camera, but I was on a tight budget for this one) with batteries, a 1 gb sd card case... all that shit Went in with other family members to get my brother (he's 37) an SD700 IS with a 1 gig and 4 gig SD card, case, and extra battery. If my Tamron 17-50 is not a very good one, I'm actually going to NYC over christmas and an online rep told me I can exchange the lens I bought online in the B&M store for a different one... I avoid tax yay.