Upload & Sell: Off
Landscape and Nature are my major areas of interest. And then pictures of my wife, as she will undoubtedly want me to use my new gear for that ...I want a camera I can really do something with as I progress.
$1,000 isn't really a lot as photography gear goes, but it's enough to get started.
Although probably not ideal for landscapes, the Canon T4i is a good entry-level camera that can do many things well.
Importantly it has an entry-level price but some higher-level features that can aid you in learning, such as the ability to remotely control off-camera Speedlites using its built-in flash as a Master controller.
$1,000 should get you a T4i body and a zoom lens -- an excellent starter package -- if you take advantage of the rebate offered for the next week or two:
You will want to add a Speedlite, more lenses, and so on as you grow, but that'll get you started.
To start, I suggest you use Manual exposure mode -- where you set the shutter speed and aperture yourself, and wait to start using any of the automatic "beginner" modes until you have a firm grasp of how they all interact.
I'd also suggest this as a must-have:
There are a few minor errors -- or over-simplifications -- in it, but overall it is an excellent primer on photogrpahic fundamentals.