I belong to several photography related websites (Fine Art America, Flickr, Google+, and SmugMug). The topic of what camera or lens to buy is often a discussion brought about and tossed about by the pros and other artists alike. Often there are those who will try to “sell” you on why this manufacturer makes a better line of cameras and lenses than the “other guys.” Much of that talk has to do with that individuals preferences. If you are looking at and can afford to buy professional camera equipment, I would recommend going to a camera store and try the cameras out before buying.
Talk to a variety of people using the camera line now; mainly professionals who use it daily. Reading the reviews online will not be helpful enough, as often the reviews posted will be strongly for or against buying the item. Most anyone can write a bad review of something, it is by far better to see a balanced and honest review. That is why I look at more than one source when choosing a camera or lens (Shutterbug magazine, online reviews that compare the items side by side, as well as ask the professionals I know online). Better to be safe than realize you have been ripped off and now have to spend lots of time writing letters, making phone calls and sending emails.
Also beware of the deals that are “too good to be true.” Often there have been online or mail order companies who start showing great deals, then within a few years the state attorney general is receiving complaints from customers. The company closes its doors and shuts the website down, and the phones. If the customer rep on the phone or in email is not telling you enough about the camera and lenses, you have the right to get that information. Better yet, end the discussion if the information is vague or seems incomplete. If you are in doubt, by the camera or lens from somewhere else.
The answer of what camera and lens to buy depends upon your wants, needs, and budget. Don’t buy everything at once. Do research the camera and lens. Don’t buy it because a TV star, sales representative, or a professional says buy it. Do buy what you can afford and need, you can upgrade the camera and lenses in the future. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, it will help you make a better well informed decision.