There are other examples from Nikon, Minolta etc as well around this price point or less.
Best thing to do, if you have a local Jessops or similar outlet, is to go and try all the cameras you are considering for feel, control layout, ease of use and pix quality - and then decide.
You can't choose a camera purely on recommendation, a picture of a camera model or a review, helpful though they are. It's the sum of all the parts that counts.
But do stick to the big brand names in cameras and optics as they have a reputation to maintain as film gradually gives way almost exclusively to digital photography.
Many of the lesser known - and cheaper - digital cameras might seem attractive pricewise, but most are rebadged Far Eastern products offered by companies without a traditional history of manufacturing photographic products.