Many of the pictures displayed on this site were taken with a Nikon FE2 all manual camera body. When I started with photography, digital was just taking off and the cost of a digital SLR body was copletely out of my budget. Film was my only alternative, and choosing a simple manufal focus body allowed me to spend a few extra dollars on high quality prime lenses. This simple approach is one I would recommend even now. Save your money when you get started and keep it simple. One simple, easy to operate body and one lens to get you going.
I have since upgraded to a Canon 40D digital body and Canon 17-55 f2.8 lens. The way I adjust aperture and shutter speed is carried over as a habit from using the manual controls on the FE2 for so many years. I debated, as so many people do, over staying with a Nikon digital body or going with the Canon. In the end, the Canon ended up feeling more like my old manual control Nikon; I think that had to do with the control wheel featured on many Canon models. The control wheel always allows me to tweak the exposure like I did with my old Nikon.