Thank you for all the recommendations and discussions. As we've read the articles in the links, and others we've found, we are definitely leaning towards an "entry level" DSLR, particularly CANON. We realized, of course, that you do get what you pay for, especially with that Nikon Cool Pix point-and-shoot. At the time, we weren't doing much more than occasional casual photography.
BTW, glc, we have two Canon non-digital SLR's hanging around here. One is a 37 year old TLb, and the other is a 33-year-old AE-1. Our older daughter used both in HS for her photography class, but the school now has a guy teaching digital photography. We always shot slides, but of course they take up SO much space!
I think we really like the Canon EOS Rebel T3i with the 18-55 lens. One thing that attracted us to this was the lens. Canon always did have a decent lens!
Now to shop for the best price....