I have taken up photography as a hobby and like you when I started I was not sure which route to go, at the time, there were clearance sales on Nikon D3100 w/ two lenses... I picked it up for $400 and have been loving it ever since. I picked up a Tamron 18-270mm for utility purposes and love it. I shoot wides with a Tamron 11-88mm 1:4.5 - 5.6. I am in the process of upgrading my camera body, still researching. My Nikon has served me well over the past few years. I enjoy nature photography the most and will be looking to invest in a nice long lense.... something I can reach out from a distance and get the shot.
Good luck with whatever you choose... bit of advice, do a little research on how to take pics... I initially fell into the trap that more is better.. I have found out that is definitely NOT the case.. pick your shot and make it count.... kind of like hunting with a single shot rifle.. you get the once chance so make it count and besides.. it is definitely not fun to comb through gigabytes of photos!