We recently acquired a Pentax K-7 to do more ( and better) photography for ourselves and the website. After much research and asking around we decided on the Pentax because it gave us the most bang for the buck and is designed for rugged conditions ( like New Orleans during Tales or deserts in Peru). It's got over 20 different weather seals and even the lenses are built to be weatherproof (read more likely drink proof in my case and where I go).
I looked at Nikons and decided they were overpriced and riding on their name rather than value and so did Canon to a lesser degree. Another point in their favor is due to their rarity you can pick up old lenses ( film SLR) for almost nothing as no one else is competing for them.
It also had a lot of advanced features such as a automatic level, options to use AA batteries and lots of features for the money.
Only downside is the 330 + page manual - and I mean all in English- this is not some 6 language manual- It is going to take a bit to use this camera up to it's potential. But on the plus side the manual is easy to understand and well written - it's just a lot to absorb.
So far we have taken it to Miami to the Rum Renaissance Festival where we shot about 1400 photos , indoors and out with temperatures ranging from 65 F to 90+ F in full sun all day and the camera held up better than I did ! Please check Spirits Review, Face Book, and this Blog for more results.