Looking to spend £300-£400, either for something small which is robust and can take decent shots with control over shutter speed etc, or going large with a DSLR. If it's the latter I'm considering the Nikon D3200.
Remove 'small' from that (its still small compared to sat a 5D), and SRS had Pentax K-5 for £350, OK it's a generation behind now, likely to be 2 when the k-5ii sucessor comes out soon (as the k-30''s successor has just been released putting it close to the k-5ii), but it's
a) magnesium bodied (tough)
b) weatherproof (including pentax WR lenses), theres a US marine on Youtube burrying it in sand then taking it in the shower to wash! (ideal for soggy camelpacks)
c) primes from the 70s film cameras are dirt cheep and still work on the digital bodies (shake reduction cant cope with zooms, but they still function)
d) shake reduction is in the body, which means lenses are cheeper (or in the case of the kit lenses, better built and better opticaly for the same price as the cannon / nikon competition).
Imagine if we had no way of seeing the photo we'd just taken - until we got to a camera shop/chemist - had to wait a couple of days - and then had to pay for all the bad photos!
Photos on my old film SLR blow the digital ones out the water on a one for one basis. I think because hand on heart I know a lot would be crap before I press the shutter release so 36 film expoures makes probably 12 worth keeping. Whereas the DSLR I can take 100 and pick 1. I think digital isn't as cheep as people think. I justified film untill recently on the basis that per photo worth keeping/printing (10 in a film?) framing (10 in a year?) it was cheeper.