Or, in other words, unless you really know what you're doing, you're probably wasting your money.
For myself, I tend to buy the cheapest item available of any category until I understand why the other ones are more expensive.
I did the opposite and started out by buying one of the more expensive consumer-level dSLRs (a Nikon D7000) without having a clue about photography. The idea was this:
a) A camera like that will not be the limiting factor - my own skills will be
b) It's expandable by a myriad of objectives and accessories if I want to get more advanced
c) If it turns out this photography thing wasn't really for me, I'll still get great vacation pictures with the auto mode!
I think some hobbies are just like that - you can't have gear with too poor quality or it will affect your experience so badly you'll lose interest. Learning to play the guitar on a cheap guitar that can't keep the tuning sucks. Learning astronomy on a cheap toy-level telescope is just as bad. Photography might be a different beast, but to me it seems you can't go wrong by buying quality gear from the outset.