Certainly not the cheapest store but my husband just bought a Rebel body from B&H (www.bandhphotovideo.com). Cheaper than the UK and good customer service.
"Great bargains" very often mean disguised second-hand or grey market merchandise. When buying a digital camera, I would stick exclusively to the reputable stores, and avoid the disreputable "bargain" ones like the plague. All of those places with the "going out of business" singns, and all those places along Fifth Avenue in the thirties and forties, are DISreputable. On the other hand, B&H photo carefully guards its reputation for honesty. I met one of the owners one time -- he is a very religious Orthodox Jew, and he told me that when he first went into the camera business, he was told by all the other camera dealers that one had to be a deliberate cheat to prosper in that line, and that all of his competitors believed that and acted accordingly!! Instead, he felt too guilty, so he resolved to be honest instead -- and the contrast with the typical camera store made his business boom. He thereupon decided that strict honesty really was the best policy...
I therefore recommend trying either B &H, or J &R, or one of the national electronics chains such as Best Buy or Circuit City.
I have purchased 2 cameras from BH while visiting US and cant fault the service. Freight is reasonable by UPS.
They are not the cheapest but you have the peace of mind that the goods are genuine not s/hand or seconds.
I would also recommend B&H or J&R. Another alternative is Adorama. Check all three websites for the best price, and shop accordingly.
All three are reputable, and have the best prices, in my opinion. Customer service at B&H and Adorama is excellent, can't speak for J&R beyond their prices, but they have an excellent reputation.
As GWB said, avoid electronics discounters with "Going out of Business" signs like the plague. These are particularly prevalent in the Times Square/Midtown area.
Forgot to say - In planning your shopping, make sure to check each store's hours...B&H and Adorama are run by Orthodox Jews, and close early on Friday, and are typically closed on Saturdays.
Not wishing to dampen your enthusiasm for a bargain but don't forget that any goods over the value of £145 are liable to Import Duty and VAT on your return to the UK. As they say on HM Customs' website, "If you have any more than these allowances you must declare the goods in the red channel or use the red point phone. If you do not, you are breaking the law and we may prosecute you.".
What's the deal with cameras and orthodox jews? What's the origin of this association if any? I remember the first time I went to 47th st. Photo and was surprised by all de salespersons wearing Kippahs.
Btw, what happened to 47th st. Photo?
There is definitely ethinic community "networking" that results in some surprising uniformity of ownership among businesses. For example, a truly startling percentage of fried-chicken restaurants in NYC are owned by ... Afghani immigrants!!! Afghanis? I did not think they had American fried chicken in Afghanistan, you may say. Well, they don't, just as they don't have American diners in Greece. Nevertheless, for some reason it became a business in which a supportive network of their community members could be found, and so there you have it. You also have many Indians and Pakistanis who own gas stations, and many if not most fruit-and-vegetable stores in NYC are now run by Koreans. The match-up that amuses me most would be the Mexican burrito stores that are all run by Chinese immigrants.
Definitely B&H Photo or J&R. Forget the "deals/discounters". Both reliable, have purchased numerous cameras/supplies. Cameras always in stock. While the "body" might not be discounted, they have far better pricing on the supplementals...lenses, cards, etc. Just purchased a 2gig card for $60 cheaper at B&H (and later a backup card at J&R) than the consumer stores elsewhere in the city and 50 mi radius (e.g, CompUSA, BestBuy, Circuit City). Not worth coming to town and having to shop all over - do it and get snapping!
Guess I got it GreenWhiteBlue. Here in Sao Paulo, (in many ways very alike NYC), it happens sometimes. Here bakeries are always related to portuguese people.