When I first looked at SLRs in mid 2008 I was looking at something small, the smallest one there was in fact - the Olympus E420. I played with 1 in a shop, but decided I wasn't ready to buy yet.
After discussing DSLRs with my Nikon and Canon owning friends at length, both seemed to recommend a Canon. So I went to get a hands on look at the 450D at my local camera store. However upon closer inspection I discovered the 450D to be quite uncomfortable to hold, it was a bit too small for me to grip nicely. This threw a bit of a spanner in the works, as the 40D felt lovely and comfortable, but was outside my price range by quite a bit.
It was at this point that I remembered that my Dad used to have an SLR. I gave him a call and discovered he had a Pentax K1000 with a few lenses. So I got into looking at the Pentax DSLRs. As it turns out, Pentax DSLRs are compatible with all Pentax lenses (some via adapters though).
Once again cost came into the equation - the K20D was about the same price as the Canon 40D - out of my price range. The previous model was the K10D. This seemed to be a good option. I had recently seen a Samsung GX-10 sell 2nd hand for less than half the price of a new K20D (the Samsung GX-10 is a rebadged K10D).
I decided I was ready to purchase a Pentax K10D, 2nd hand. They were cheap and plentiful a month or 2 earlier. Demand seemed to have suddenly peaked, availability was down and prices were up. Then I discovered the Pentax K200D. Slightly smaller than the K10D/K20D/40D, but larger than the Canon 450D, and with the same sensor as the K10D. It seemed to be a competitor to the 450D but had in body IS (SR) and had a top LCD, which the 450D did not. Pricing was cheap, very cheap compared to the 450D.
I went shopping for good prices. After a couple of weeks I dropped by my local JB Hifi, the K200D was on special for only $644. About 2 hrs later I went back to the store and I was the proud owner of a Pentax K200D DSLR with a Pentax SMC DA 18-55 AL II f3.5-5.6 lens.