the images to a harddrive normally so you don't need to buy a lot of cards. Compact Flash is used quite a bit, and, I think, is the fastest type now in use.
Look at the Canon 20D and/or the Nikon D50(?). The 20D is going for about $1,400, and is a terrific camera. The Nikon is also highly rated, and sells for much less money. Both are SLRs, and need high quality lenses. However, if you already have lenses, you should check to see if they'll work with one of these two. I use Sandisk Extreme III 1 gigabyte cards with my 20D.
There is a caveate. To obtain optimum results, you will need to learn to work with a photo editing program. I use Adobe Photoshop.
Have been into photography for about 50 years, using 35mm SLRs. Now ready to make the digital jump. Note there are several memory formats. Remember the BETA and VHS battles and BETA came out on short end even through it was better.
So which is best format and who will be the long term winner on memory types for digital cameras? I want something that will be available for a long time and also is the best for digital photography at this time. Also appreciate camera models recommendations. I am open on pixels and price range. Looking for quality in pictures from whatever camera and memory format.