The amount of pixels is not going to make any difference to the quality of your photographs unless you intend to print them out really quite large. I would disregard that aspect in choosing which camera you get. I have had a bridge camera in the past with super zoom, and it was great for landscape etc but not for catching high speed boxers on the move, lens not fast enough so changed to the Nikon D40. This is a super camera to learn with but you will need to have a couple of lenses to get the range you'll probably want - the Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 is the standard lens which may come with the camera, I also have the Nikkor 55-200mm f/4-5.6 VR which allows you to zoom in closer so to speak. This makes it all more expensive.
If I was you going on a trip with lots to take with me, traveling etc and only starting out with photography I would get a bridge camera, which will take good quality photos, allows you to learn about photography, no lenses to change and once you've experienced using it you may find you want to make a more significant upgrade than to the D40.
That's just my opinion based on my own experiences learning about photography, hope it helps a bit, and enjoy Spain!
The more recent photos in my gallery are taken with the D40.
Dino ~ 07/04 & Charlie ~ 10/08
Connor & Sophie ~ Our boxer angels
Last edited by x19er; 14th July 2009 at 05:11 AM.