Needin’ a Little Camera Advice

My little Kodak 4 megapixel point and shoot is showing its age. It’s never been particularly good at using the right flash mode indoors, and it’s getting worse. The more I look at photos from Cindy, Jason, Elsa and Rannie, the more I want a DSLR. Cindy and Jason go on and on (without stopping, honest) about their rebels. Elsa loooooves her Nikon. With all this love going around – what do I choose? Do I go all out with a digital SLR, or do I go with something easier, but not as full-featured like a Fujifilm Finepix S9000 or 9100? Digital SLRs are expensive, and you then get sucked into buying all the extras like flashes, new lenses, extra special battery packs, etc. Is it worth it?
The Fuji looks good on paper, and the reviews are solid as well, but the reviews don’t match the love spewed forth about the Rebel XTi. How much should I expect to spend to get the XTi or comparable digital SLR set up? Is it really worth it? Should I start with one step beneath an SLR? Come on, all my photographically inclined friends, help me out here!
Update: Here’s what I want out of a camera: good in normal indoor situations, preferably without needing the flash. My Kodak is crap in normal indoor light, and the flash turns my pale little boys into ghosts, and I haven’t found a way to “rescue” those pictures in iPhoto. I like taking pictures, but I don’t go out of my way to set up picture-taking outings. I’m usually going somewhere, and happen to document it. So, lugging around an SLR is probably not wise (although little tiny Cindy does it). The G7 looks good, and I’m finding the Flickr camera finder really useful. I’m uploading photos now, and will point out some of the problem shots I want “help” with (thanks, Jeff!).