I'm currently leaning towards Nikon over Canon... only because most of my friends have Nikons and say they're great. I think I'll end up with the D3100, as the extra features of the D5100 don't seem worth the price for a non-photog like me. There are a lot of different packages out there, most of them come with single Nikkor 18-55mm lens, or that lens with an additional Nikkor 55-200mm lens. However, there are some packages (I haven't really price shopped these yet) with the Nikkor 18-55mm lens and a 55-300mm or 70-300mm lens... some are off-brand (Sigma? Tamron?) but I do see at least one Nikkor (listed as Nikon on buy.com). So, here are my questions: 1. Does anyone have a reason not to choose the Nikon D3100? 2. What do people think about the -200mm lens vs the -300mm lens? As I said- I don't know the first thing about non-point-and-shoot photography, but I'd like to learn, and I'd like to get something that will last me a while. If the -300 lens will be better than the -200 lens in a few years once my son starts playing soccer and I'm taking pics from the sidelines, then I'd rather spend the extra money now. 3. What do people think about Nikkor vs off-brand lenses? From the little research I've done so far, most things I read say "only get Nikkor." and, nothing to do with the purchase itself, but: 4. How do people generally carry DSLRs when flying? In a camera bag separate from a laptop bag/backpack? What about when you already have a carryon + laptop? TIA!