Upload & Sell: On
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.