My two cents...if you are "starting out with DSLR" as you state, you should start with a rebel. However, you should spend as little on the camera body itself as possible. Even with a t3 or t2i, which will cost less than a t3i or t4i, you can get some great photos at a beginning level that you will be very happy with. You are far better off spending less on the camera and then buying an extra lens with the savings than you are in buying a more expensive camera body. The 50mm f1.8 or the 40mm f2.8 are both good to start with. See if you like using the DSLR, and then if you feel it is worth it, you can spend more to upgrade the body.
It does seem like a lot of people on here always say, just buy the 5d ii to anyone who asks, but if you are starting out, I don't think I'd do that. Make sure you like using the DSLR camera, you have the time to invest in practicing, and you can alwasy upgrade the body later. Sure, if you end up loving it, and it becomes a hobby or even a profession, then by all means, blow your budget now. However, since I've started to get into DSLR photography as a hobby, I've met many people with high end DSLR's who don't use them or are frustrated by them because they didn't have the time, energy or interest to devote to it. They spent thousands in some cases thinking it would automatically help them take better photos, and now they are running around with point and shoots while their DSLR collects dust because they didn't spend the time to learn how to shoot in the manual modes or spend $150 to upgrade their lens.
You can get great photos with any DSLR once you learn the basics and with the help of some inexpensive prime lenses. Even the kit lens can deliver good results in certain situations. Plus the lenses you can always use on a new camera if you upgrade your DSLR in the future.
So to answer your question, I'd go with the t3i, and I don't think you could go wrong with a t3 or t2i if you can find a really good deal. Then spend $110 or $149 and buy a 2nd lens. That is where you will notice a significant difference in your photos, because of the lens you use, not between the t3i and t4i. Good luck.