I am a long time hobbiest photographer that went semi-pro for a little while. I'd be happy to help decipher some of the choices as you narrow your search. I will tell you that if you are looking to make an investment in your next purchase, don't think about the camera body as the purchase... think about what the body selection implies as a commitment to a lens system. Over the coming years, it is the mount format that will determine just what lenses are available, the quality of those lenses (and inherent retaining of their value), etc. The glass you buy will be investment you can leverage for future body upgrades that doesn't have to be lost. As cameras become more like computers and less mechanical in nature, the obsolescence curve changes in kind... the price and desirebility is driven by things like what sensor is used, the AF system/processor, image processing chip(s) (frame rate, color depth, etc)... all of this doesn't make you a better photographer - just expands your toolbox. The optics however are a constant... so the selection of lens system is really the gravity of your body choice we are dealing with...
Personally, I have shot with Canon for over 30 years. Not because other cameras aren't as good or even better in some cases (as a consumer, you really can't go wrong with any of the big companies these days), but because of the breadth and quality of the lens system. It really comes down to personal preference. I really, really like the ergonomics of the Canon bodies much more than Nikon and Sony (the buttons, menus, etc)... but again, just personal preference.
If you do decide to move into a Canon system, I have a well cared for Canon 1Ds Mark II with a Really Right Stuff quick release L-plate and two extra batteries... in the original box with docs, etc. that I'll consider selling for $999. I paid $7800 for the camera, $275 for the plate, and probably around $250 for the extra batteries all about 8 years ago, so I think a grand for the whole lot is about street value these days. It actually isn't for sale currently, so this isn't a B/S post hijack
but I'd sell it to you as an LPF buddy... even willing to negotiate. She was good to me over the years:
If you are looking for a brand new body that also does things like LiveView and video recording, that I would suggest you take a look at the Canon Rebel SL1. It gets you into a DIGIC5 processor (current gen chip) versus DIGIC4 which will allow you to do 1080p video with autofocus versus 720p with manual focus on the T3/T3i series (previous generation consumer model). You get some more resolution (18MP vs 12MP) and low light shooting performance (higher ISO support) as well as a tiny bit faster shutter rate. B&H has a bundle
where you can get the body and 2 lenses that cover 18mm up through 300mm for about $750.
I'm sure you'll get contrasting views about mirrorless options (like Sony) and lower market share competitors (Pentax, Olympus, etc), but the lens systems available with Nikon and Canon are unrivaled and I urge you to take this into consideration. My suggestions are Canon-centric because that is what I know and have been using for 30+ years, but either manufacturer is an equally good risk. The real magic in the photo is inside YOU and not in the camera. The camera and the accessories are tools that you use. I am always amazed that when you create a frame, the first thing people as is what superwhamplodyne camera made that for you? It's like a virtual rochambo negating things like researching a loc for composition, following weather for the right light, careful calculation of exposure, using tools like stacking neutral density, ND grads, polarizers, etc to create the image as close to your minds eye prior to development, or maybe the use of temp correcting gels and light modifiers for non-ambient exposures, careful selection of the proper focal length glass and aperture to create the field of view and depth of field just right for your composition. In the old "film days", photography was more a craft or art form, but with the onset of readily available consumer digital cameras, the process is diluted. I'm not by any means an elitist or one to deter amateur photography by any and all. I'm merely saying that apparently if you go to a music store and you buy a flute, you're not a flautist, you own a flute... but if you go to a camera store and buy a camera, you're a photographer! (by today's standards) TL;DR - Pick your camera body based on the lens system you want to live with in the future, not the bells and whistles. All the camera bodies are pretty good now-a-days and the difference is how you use them...
After you get your purchase decision made, let me know and maybe we can plan a photo outing around Austin one day. I'd be happy to help you with questions and give you pointers on how to be a better photographer... well, just share my experience. I'm not a pro... just passionate about the hobby. Cheers!