I'm not a Canon user, but Autumn (Audrey) on this forum uses the Canon Digital Rebel XTI which is the same camera as sold in the USA.
You should go to a camera shop where you can handle the camera as well as a couple of others and see which fits your hands best.
Here is a comparison of the canon and its Nikon equivalent, the D40. He talks about other cameras as well, but in your price range the D400 and D40 are the two to consider
There are other manufacturers, of course, and we all have our favourites so it's hard to be objective, but if I were starting again I would consider the Olympus and the Pentax cameras.
One other thing to consider is the fact that there are constantly new cameras being announced, and hence there are some *very* good deals to be done on the outgoing model.
For instance, Nikon's D70s can be bought, with a reasonable lens, for a little over £300 which is a staggering deal when you consider what you get. I'm sure the same thing applies to the other manufacturers, but you need to look and see which camera you like the feel of.
I may be harking on a bit about the feel of the camera, but that is probably the most important thing to consider. Few cameras are really "bad", but you won't want to carry one all day that is too big for your hands, for instance.
Once you have decided which camera you like best, only then is the time to look for a deal as these change all the time.
I have found that if I research the best price I can find on the web, then go into my local camera shop, they will just about match the price and then I have the advantage of having someone locally if anything goes wrong. (And things do go wrong!
I guess the best advice I could give you is don't rush in. Take your time, do your research and read the responses you get here and remember that most people will favour the same make that they own. That's only natural, but may not be the right choice for you.
Don't be afraid to ask any more questions. (There's no such thing as a stupid question. There are, unfortunately, stupid answers.)
Good luck and good hunting!