I actually bought it at the camera shop rather than one of those major retail places because I wanted REAL photographer input on what features, functions etc. each camera had. This particular one was touted to me as having one of the best zoom lenses (outside of the professional ones, of course) with the quickest response in terms of AF functions. I also liked the fact that it also adjusts lighting levels and performs well in lowlight situations without flash. Its also a nice weight: still feels like a real SLR, but isn't too entirely heavy.
Its well worth the money, also helps that I use it for work as well, so now its a fully deductible business expense
(as was my trip to Paris, lolol)