I Just bought my father a Nikon D3000 with the Kit lense
and he loves it, though two things this camera is missing are Live Previews and a Movie Mode (I'm pretty sure the newly release Nikon D3100
has these features.) I've noticed that the D3000 is VERY Easy to use as far as the layout goes and menu system, i would highly recomend it as a beginners camera.
I Myself will be eventually getting a Canon 550D (Rebel T2i
) as it has the feature set im after. I Too am still a n00b when it comes to camera's so i can't really explain what to look for when it comes to camera shopping, but the 2 i have recomended here have been highly recomended and i have used both. If you want i can post some example photo's from the D3000.