So, I ended up buying the Nikon D60 10.2MP Digital SLR Camera with 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G AF-S DX VR Nikkor Zoom Lens. I know there are fancier cameras out there, but I love it! I realize my old Minolta 35 mm. is a dinosaur, but I'm not going to sell it yet, since who knows, maybe someday I'll still use it for old time's sake. I know darkrooms have gone the way of the drive-in movie theater, but I have many fond memories using my old Minolta.
The Nikon D60 seems like the perfect introductory SLR, and maybe down the road I'll invest in something bigger. It seems like photographers these days are a bit spoiled, since there are so many settings that can be put to automatic! In a way, it seems like you could just use it as a really high-quality point-and-shoot. It has a built in flash, but my mom gave me her Nikon SB-800 AF Speedlight Flash,which she says she has barely used. The advantages of having a photographer mother!
I haven't really had a chance to spend a day shooting yet, but here are a few test snaps of my daughter. I even like the quick test snap I did of the fish.