Edit: I have a nikon Fg that i really like. I have a 135mm series E lens, a 50mm f1.8 ai, and a 24mm tokina lens. Definately paid less than $200 for the whole kit.
Actually at the $200 range, you would not have to compromise on quality and could easily get a kit. i would reccomend a 28, 50 (f1.7 or slower), and 135 to be the cheapest set of lenses. Or a basic zoom instead of the 135.
24mm may be harder to find a name-brand lens, but tokina, tamron, sigma, kiron, and some vivitars are good quality. 24mm isnt hard to build.
You name it; you can have it. SLR's have never been so cheap.
Cain has a good point. Plastic AF SLRs are dirt cheap these days. I have a nikon N75 that I bought new and has served me well for 5 years. Canon rebels, various nikons, minoltas, and especially pentax AF SLRs are at rock bottom prices.
Get a 24-105mm zoom and you are set.
I have a Nikon N8008s that is fantastic; Matrix Metering and all. I don't think it costs more than 20 bucks to find one.
How about a Pentax 24-50 f/4 A lens, plus a body in KEH BGN condition like a K1000 or ME Super, or for full automation, P3n or Super Program. Or one of their later plastic fantastics. KEH has EX condition 24-50's for as little as $119. It's a very nice lens, both optically and mechanically.
Or a Pentax 24-35 f/3.5 and a 50 f/2. For a longer lens, KEH has BGN grade Pentax 80-200 f/4.5 lenses for $16 and up. I have the 24-35, 50 f/2 and 80-200 and they are all very good.
The N8008s/F801s is very good, and very inexpensive. A third party zoom lens of 24 to 105 or something should still keep you under $200.
If you want fixed focal length lenses you'll have to look at third party to stay under $200, IMO.
Since you may be using it as a weapon , find a camera with very sturdy strap lugs and a well made camera strap. I once found myself in such a situation and almost had to use my Hasselblad --- fortunately for both me and the assailant the incident was avoided.
Depending on (again) what the rest of your requirements are--what *kind* of shooting you'll be doing--I'd either second the suggestion of an off-brand M42 or K-mount SLR (plentiful cheap glass available everywhere in the world), or something like a FED-3 (M39 lenses of all kinds are likewise easy to find, and if you're shooting mostly wide this will make for a smaller, lighter, simpler-in-construction kit).
If changing lenses is going to be impractical, then screw it and get a cheap plastic SLR with a zoom lens like others have said--people are essentially giving them away for free.
Just about any of the SLR's that accept m42 mount lenses. Invest in the glass, and spring for a ton of really cheap bodies to play with. Ocasionally, you find a body that you wont part with "for love nor money". I'm pretty partial to the Olympus FTL, my first slr, and would dearly love to find another.
For $200, it pretty much covers every camera ever made, except for Alpa, Leica, the Zeiss Ikon Contarex and a few others.
I like the Minolta XD11/SRT 202, the Pentax MX, LX and K1000, the Rollei SL 35/M/E, the Nikon/Nikkormat F2A/FE/FM/EL2/FT3, nothing from Canon, the Yashica/Kyocera Contax SLRs, don't care for the Konicas (although I own one), the Vivitar Cosina-made M42 and K-mount cameras, Pentacon, the Zeiss Ikon Contaflex I/II, Kodak Retina IV, Olympus OM1/OM2 (never tried the OM3/OM4). And I'm sure there are hundreds (literally, hundreds) more cameras that fit your criteria.
I think you have to see if they feel good in your hands. If you hate how they feel, then you automatically start off not enjoying it.
Hey Jordan, you're right, it's hard to put a 24mm lens into that mix and have it come in under $200. The problem with many systems like Nikon, Olympus, Pentax, Minolta (Maxxum), even M42, is that the lenses can be used on digitals (though some only with adapters). This keeps the prices higher. Look for a system that can't be used on digital, and maybe one that was never common.
The Russian cameras come to mind, but there's actually a fair trade in the M42 russian lenses, and I've heard less than flattering things about the reliability of the cameras. Canon FD and Minolta MD might be options, especially if you'd be willing to settle for an off-brand 24mm, like a Vivitar or Tokina. Some of them are still quite good. Another one is Konica. Their lenses were supposed to be exeptional, though I've never shot with one. I expect they'd be pretty cheap. Try the Autoreflex T3 -- it certainly could be used as a weapon. I work for a camera store that sells used equipment. I think we could put a kit together for you. PM me if you're interested.