for someone just starting with the goal of doing family photos, weddingd, etc.which would be a better starter Nikon d3000 or Sony a350
This may become a religious debate, but I'd go for the D3000. Nikon has a broad line of lenses and camera bodies- much more of a selection than Sony. If you truly want to move towards becoming a professional (and you -must- approach weddings in a professional way else woe and heartbreak will follow :-) then Nikon is the way to go. If you continue with photography in a serious way then your lens purchases are going to be much more important than your camera body purchases. Camera bodies come and go but lenses are (almost) forever. I have a Nikon 50mm 1.4 that I purchased in 1973 that is still perfectly usable on most of the current Nikon bodies. For an A/B comparison of the two see this site.