Well, that was a bit of a burnout.
I took a long look at a number of different DSLRs including one I had not seriously considered, because I thought it might be too expensive.
1) The Pentax K20D I had pretty much decided on: Damnation! WAY too heavy for me. Its almost 1kg without a lens attached. Add a long zoom and my wrists immediately failed. I have a touch of RSI (too much time here, and at work, on computers) as well as a touch of the carpal tunnel syndrome. If I got the K20D I would be consigning myself to either wearing wrist braces 24/7 or using a tripod every time. Neither option is suitable, appropriate or acceptable. K20D is now off the list, and so is the K200D.
2) Nikon D90: is quite expensive, but on the other hand has all of the features I want in a DSLR. However I looked at it after I fiddled with the Pentax, and my wrists were already very sore and sensitive. So it too, seemed way too heavy. I’ll take another look when wrists are in recovery.
3) Sony Alpha 300: Not too heavy but again, my wrists were already quite sore so it was hard to work out whether I should continue to consider it. If not, then the A200 is much lighter and has become a possibility even though it doesnt have live view.
4) Canon 450D: Price is good, weight is good. I did not want to get a camera with its image stabilisation in the lens, but I may just have to. The Canon felt just fine, even with my wrists in extremis.
However: something I had only briefly considered was the 4/3 system of Olympus and Panasonic. And now, I believe there is a micro 4/3 system on the horizon from both. The nice thing here I guess is that Panasonic can use some of the Olympus Zuiko lenses, as well as the Leica lenses created especially for it, which may give a wider range of options.
Is there anything wrong with the 4/3 system? Well, maybe… the sensors are smaller than in the others, and that might make the 4/3 less capable. Although it probably depends on pixel density… and I haven’t really looked into that yet.
Long story short: Purchase is going to have to wait some months yet. So I bought another point and shoot (its terrible, having the buys when you want a camera)… its an old Fuji, the F20, excellent low light capacity and only 6MP which suits me. I’ll wear glasses when using it or else rely entirely on a beep to tell me if its in focus. Sad, innit?