Technically, I can't call myself a "professional" photographer because I've never personally sold my work-- though as a graphic designer and Advertising/Marketing Manager, my work has indeed been utilized professionally.
I have been an avid and artistic photography amateur for decades, starting with the Canon AE-1 Program that I received as a wedding gift way back in 1983. (Amusingly, it was a gift from my new brothers-in-law at the behest of my new husband, but it was I who wielded it from Day One until it finally gave up the ghost some 20 years later. I clung to that camera longer than I did that husband.)
The T3i exceeds all of my expectations. The Program mode is super convenient and superbly intuitive for times when I don't feel like futzing around with settings--like when my college-aged kids recently visited me for Winter Vaca here in Puerto Rico. But when I'm scouting on my own with both tripod and time on my hands, I have every customizable bell & whistle I could ever want immediately at hand. Nikon's good, no question, but Canon's utility and lenses rock.
All of that said, after considerable research I knew that I wanted the T3i (more affordable but in every way that matters equally as functional as the pricier Canon models) well before I ran across Cameta Camera on Amazon. All I can say is that they offered not only the best kit prices that I found, but also a uniquely diverse range of kits to suit any enthusiast's particular needs.