*throws his two cents in about DSLRs*
After using the old 300D, then a T2i, and now a 60D, I can really say that if you know you like using a lot of specific features on a product, the higher end cameras are definitely worth it. Obviously going from the 300D to the T2i was a no brainer in quality difference, those CMOS sensors back in 2003 had horrendous noise. But after using the T2i for a year, I got the chance to get my own 60D (T2i is a shared camera). Naturally, went to a Calumet store to try it out (they'll bring out $2,500 lenses to put on your own camera to see how you like them, if you ask) and WOW, the difference was instantly noticeable. I fell in love with the 60D just demoing it in the store because of just how much more professionally oriented it was compared to the T2i. I used to be the kind of person who would instantly say go for the base model and not bother with anything over $1,000, just as was previously mentioned in this thread, but I really have to change that because now I have experienced the difference first hand.
So now, I would say to get that higher end body off the bat if you already have a few good lenses. If you are just starting, then good lenses first makes sense before a good body in my opinion still, but if you are ever upgrading an old body then GET that better model. The features between the T2i and the 300D were amazingly similar and I did find myself getting bored sometimes with the lack of expanding my hardware capabilities (which did allow me to focus on software for a while which was quite useful, I will admit). Now that I have the 60D I am definitely finding myself enjoying my hardware much more and I feel like it is showing through in my photography.
Now, onto your most recent pictures take with your new camera! Loving the styles that you are going for but there are a few things I gotta nit-pick about. First, ease up on that color correction in your post processing
You're over-saturating the red and green in a few of those shots, not just in regards to balancing the colors but the colors are actually being rather distorted in some places (red scarf on the woman especially). Perhaps you don't notice it because of the computer screen you are using. If you can, I'd say try to get a color calibrator for your screen so that way your edits come through better
Also, try using the custom color settings on the camera. You can adjust for the colors you want to pop the most right on the camera, and if the camera is anything like the T2i then when you are reviewing the pictures you can display a histogram of the color space so that you can go into the settings and adjust accordingly. Like when I do my star photography, I obviously ease up on the blue a little bit
And that makes it so that I don't have to do much, if any, post processing on the pictures. Unless I want to print them.
Speaking of colors, there are a few tricks you can do now that you are fully in the digital age! As well as the screen calibrator, you could get a color checker so that you can use it to calibrate all of your different lens/filter/camera combinations. What you do is take pictures of the color checker (it's a physical object with many colors on it, like a paint swatch) in both sunlight and shade, and you then go to your computer and the colors can be adjusted based on what the software knows the color should be and it can apply the color adjustments from then on to all of your photos taken with that combination of lens/filter/camera. It really helps in getting your colors right.
Oh, one more thing... your focusing on your new pictures could be a bit better. That and your Depth of Field. I'm seeing some odd choices for your depth of field especially. Many pictures you don't seem to have chosen whether you wanted the background to be blurry or not, so you left it partially blurry and it just feels a tad bit off, it isn't quite allowing the subject of the picture to really BE the subject as much as it could be.
And of course... layers layers layers! When doing edits to your photos on the computer, if you are using a program that has layers, USE them. That way you can do sharpness, contrast, color, ect. edits on only the parts of the picture that you want and that way the rest of the picture wont suffer.
WOW... I typed a lot... you're allowed to not read all of that
I'm an amateur, not a pro, so my word is but hearsay when compared to the serious folk