People are starting to think that DSLR cameras are the must-have cams of today, even if they're not really photography buffs. It's just that DSLRs are becoming more and more affordable and are being made with more and more preset modes.
But, here are some things you should consider before buying one:
1) The bulk. It's not just heavy, it's really bulky. And it will require a special bag.
2) A bag which will probably cost more than your laptop bag.
3) Plus, you have to choose the brand you really want because you will be investing on more accessories for that brand. Filters and lenses and service centers are must-considerations.
4) The cost might already buy you three cams, a compact one, a prosumer one (like the Canon s5 IS) and an underwater cam (that's good for about 7 feet deep).
5) DSLRs require memory investments in the form of extra memory sticks/SD or CF Cards and actual hard disk space because the files are huge. Even the lowest, grainiest setting will result in megabytes eaten up.
6) Plus, you'd also have to invest on rechargeable batteries and chargers.
7) And if you don't have any plans of reading the manual and will just use it as a point-and-shoot, then it's really a heavy toy to be lugging around.
8) And if you're used to digicams already where you don't even use the viewfinder anymore, you will have to relearn not just using that small peephole once again, but also learn adjusting the lens to focus on your subjects (again, unless you're going to use it as a point-and-shoot).
I suggest, before investing in one, master the camera you have first. That will guide you to find out the limitations you don't like, what you're really looking for in a new cam, etc.
And yes, like any other hobby (even golf, where you run away with investments on the right outfits, shoes and some Callaway golf clubs), buying a DSLR for your photography passion is only the first spending step. More is to come, which is why you should be smart about what you invest on.