I have a canon poweshot G15. It is not a SLR, but a very functional point and shoot. I love it as I can adjust nearly everything (pretty much everything but the lens). I was a beginner when I started and I've learnt so much with this camera.
I've had it for 16 months. I hadn't had a camera for a number of years - just a camera phone. This is the first camera I've had with the Av, Tv and P modes. Essentially I can read nearly any digital SLR book or magazine and apply the tips when using the G15 (except the choice of lenses).
try the sony SLT-A33.... its so easy to use
i think an slr camera might be a bit much for a beginner,try something cheaper & less complicated