I purchased my DSLR in December, after many years of desperately wanting one. I'm certainly not made of money, and as much as I may crave the latest and greatest gear, I make do of what I have, as I always have. Some of my photos I took with my old PowerShot SX10 (all shot in manual mode; I stopped using auto long, long ago) are still amongst my favorites, because of composition alone.
I go through this DeviantArt, which I created about the time I got my T3i. The majority of the photos on here have been shot with it, the first ones shot with my kit lens that's always had focusing issues, working up to my latest photos with my wonderful Tamron lens that I bought back in May. I can see so much improvement since December. I feel like my grasp of composition and post processing has strengthened. I'm still often unsatisfied with a lot of photos I shoot, but I can definitely see how I've gotten better.
Just a few thoughts, I suppose. It's fascinating to especially go back to my old DeviantArt and look at photos I took 3+ years ago that I thought were the bee's knees at that time, and frown at them now, haha.