Right, so I'm just a poor fucker and need a DSLR for $300 or under and have been looking at the t3i quite a bit, but I'm looking for input.
You don't need a DSLR. Cartier-Bresson didn't need one. Daido Moriyama didn't need one. Lrn2 photography, gearfags. I won the Prix pictet award last year with a blackberry camera. Fucking amateur hour ITT, do you even shoot?
If you're not willing to spend big, get a film camera.
They're cheap and produce amazing quality pictures.
My camera ran me about $1,400 and I'm still finding things that I want/need that more expensive cameras provide.
The absolute minimum you should get is the most recent tXi model. I think that might be the t5i right now.
I'm a photographer.