I'm with Brandi on the reason to go for Canon's. Otherwise they're just alike.
If you want a DSLR, a Canon T3 is an excellent starter camera. I'd get just the body alone and the Canon 50mm 1.8 lens.
If you're looking for just a more advanced P&S though either a Canon Powershot (specifically the ones that look like this)
Or a Nikon. They have a new Nikon that is a mix of a point and shoot and a DSLR. You can interchange the lenses.
I have an advanced P&S. When I'm being "serious" about the quality of pictures I take, they turn out well for someone who really has no idea what they're doing. I got it as a gift though so it's not Nikon or Canon. I have a Sanyo. :lol:
I might spring for a Canon t3 and learn to use it over the summer. IDK yet.
i shot w/a d3100 w/kit lens (18-55mm) and 35mm 1.8. its a good camera.
if u want something simpler, i would highly recommend a nikon coolpix p510. it's a p&s, but its considered a bridge camera because it has some features that only a dslr has and not a p&s