I want to purchase a SLR. I currently have a Canon G10 but it has a focusing problem. Rather than spend the $200 to repair what I have, I'm considering a low end SLR.
I have not much money to spend. The T2i is out of my price range. The XS is comfortable and the T1i is a bit of a reach, but doable.
Are either of these a waste of money/time? Would I be better off, not purchasing anything at this time and trying to save enough for a T2i or even a 50D or 60D?
The XS is getting old and will soon be replaced by the new T3 entry-level budget model. The T3 looks to be a much better camera. While the T1i is also getting a little old, it still offers a good feature set and relatively good performance. Canon will also be introducing the new T3i which is essentially the T2i with some new features like an articulating screen. While the T3i is probably out of your price range, its introduction may bring the price of the T2i down. I can't see Canon offering four entry-level models at the same time so I wonder if Canon won't also discontinue the T1i and have the T2i take its place.
There is some wisdom to getting a cheaper camera and spending the difference on lenses. Though, unless you're a casual photographer, I would not recommend the XS since its an older stripped down budget model. The new T3 will likely be a much better camera.
There are a numbe of ways you can save some money on a DSLR and lenses. You can wait until the Canon Spring Rebates. You can look at refurbished models at places like Adorama.com and BandHPhoto.com. And Canon has a "Loyalty Program" which allows you to trade-in any broken Canon camera for a discount on a refurbished camera. Here's some information on the program: http://photography-on-the.net/forum/showthread.php?t=948785