Being a Professional Photographer, I am often asked, "what's a good camera to buy?". My response is always go with the camera you feel comfortable with. The cameras that are available on the market today are technologically better than their counterparts from 8-10 years ago.
The Mega-Pixel debate continues to rage. Camera manufactures lead you to believe that their new model is the best thing since sliced bread because of the increase in pixel (picture elements) count. The truth is that pixels do play a role in picture quality, but another important aspect to quality is the circuitry and mechanical elements of the camera and chip.
I read an interesting article that goes into a little more detail about this. Check it out.