I have a Canon Rebel 35mm SLR - and LOVE it. I saved up and got it about 5 years ago and have not had a single regret. I wish I could say that I have had the same experience with digital cameras.
I entered the digi world a few years ago. I was sending my kids to camp armed with disposable cameras. I would get the cheapest ones that I could find - about $2 each. When they came home I would develop them and see some decent pictures but also many blurred or pictures of the inside of their backpack or their fingers in front of the lens. After paying for the developing when the summer was over I had handful of usable pictures and an emptier wallet. It was then that I thought that compared to this process that a point and shoot digital camera might not be a bad investment.
The first one I bought was from a friend who had purchased it for her mother, but her mother never used it. It was a Nikon - not top of the line, certainly but not trash either. I don't know if the camera was just old and didn't work right, or if the kids did something to it, but about a year later, it died.
Not wanting to go down the same path with the disposable camera again, I got another point and shoot digi. This time it was a rebuilt Canon. It came with a guarantee and from my favorite camera store so I trusted it. That camera lasted about 2 years before it died.
All in all after paying for the cameras verses the disposable cameras and the developing, I thing I am actually behind financially. If it were only an issue of money I might not be as annoyed, but I simply do not like digital cameras. There is a shutter lag that I just can not get used to. It is very hard for me to get a good digital picture because I am used to pressing the shutter and going. That can't be done with a digi camera.
What I have heard many people say is that you can take many digital pictures and that way *know* that you are going to take at least a few good ones. Over all, I don't think that is the case. People get lazy and don't use good photography habits. They just keep pressing the shutter. Yes, extra stuff can be cropped out etc, but over all, their pictures are not as good as they could be.
I have to pay for every one of my pictures, so I take the time to line up the shot, make sure that there isn't an overflowing trash can in the background, and assure that the lighting is the way I want it. And most of the time, I get it right - the first time. I would guess that on a roll of film with 24 exposures, I might have one or two that I am not happy with. No non-professional digital photographer I know of can boast of around a 90% success rate at getting the pictures that they want.
We are now on our third digital camera - and I HATE this one too. Maybe there will be a day when I no longer have a choice because I will not be able to get my prints made, but until that day, I am going to keep my old fashioned film camera and keep loving it.