Why do people expect their camera and lens to do better than that???
I guess for amateurs it's wishful thinking because the price for a good dslr kit is very high in comparison what you could do with the money for other recreations like travel... so it has to last, doesn't it?
Thus one interesting question is avoided: Wouldn't it be more clever to by Rebel cameras with cheaper 3rd party lenses, and when they break simply upgrade to the better current model? Certainly not an option for professional use, but less worry about gear damage, theft or wear and for most purposes about the same result :-.o
That is an intersting thought. However, the Higher level DSLR do have more feature than the Rebel. If the Rebel has enough feature to satisfy you, by all means, go for it. I have a 20D for 5 years and a 40D for 4 years. Both cameras have the shutter releas button failed. Fortunately, I can fix them with alcohol(Thanks for the instructions from You Tube). If I cannot fix them, they will be goners. As for the lens, my 17-40 L holds up very well even after 9 years. For me, I have got more than what I have paid for. But I start to question the focusing accuracy of he 28-135 Canon lens after 6 years. I do not have any experience with the third party lenses.
Since I want to travel light, I have just switched to the EOS-M system.