I'll have to agree with Jeff on The FTb's. While they are angular, they're more then capable, and known for their resistance to heat or cold except for the battery of course. It would be hard to find a sharper shooter then one with a 50mm F1.4, and the rest of the Canon lineup has some stellar performers.
The Nikkormats for the prices they are going for are some underrated cameras and the non-Ai lenses can be great. Just depends on how much you want to carry.
I'm starting to explore the KISS system with a K1000 and screwmounts. Less is better.
Another vote for the Argus C-3, bought my first one about 6 years ago and use one often.
Get a Nikkormat. My partner dropped one 10-12 feet on to the cement floor at a concert and only dented a corner jamming the back release and denting a lens hood. It still worked and we removed the dent in the bottom plate with a hammer and shot with it for the rest of the weekend. They don't need AI lenses and the FT2s use modern lithium MS23s
In a sketchy situation they double as a club or a mace if you swing it at the end of the strap
Everyone on the planet knows the brand name Nikon. I shot Contax for years starting in the early 1980's and no one ever approached me that recognized the brand.
I hate plastic cameras. They may work for some people, but I can't stand them, especially when solid, pro-level cameras which were once out of reach of regular photographers can now be had for cheap. I just picked up a Nikon F3HP with an MD4 motor drive and lens for less than what I paid for just a used MD4 back in 1990. The 50/300 ED zoom I lusted after in 1990 (and which cost $3500 back the) I just managed to find now for $500.
Top picks for me would be the Pentax SP and 55/2 Super Takumar, a SRT 101 with a 50 or 58/1.4 MC Rokkor, or the Canon FTB, or even an F1 (I just got a nice F1 for $100) with a FD 50/1.4 lens. For rangefinders, the best bang for the buck is the Yashica Electro 35. All the full-size Electros use the same lens, later models have a flash hot shoe, and a larger film speed range. If you want interchangeable lenses, get a Canon 7 or Canon P with a 50/1.8 LTM lens. Stay away from the Russian crap unless you are mechanically-inclined.
Get yourself a nice Agfa Clack for $10 and spend the rest of your money on roll film, some developer and having a good time.
For Canon FD (if you like heavier Cameras) I would recommend a heavily used F1 new. I got mine on ebay for 60 Euros as it had the a heavily dented AE Finder (AE screen display does not work anymore) and the Camera has some brass too.
But it is a great match needle camera with automatic options. you can take worn ones at it is very solid. If you can stand a little "professional used" look I much prefer it to the Ftb (no battery problem, 1/2000, bright laser matte viewfinder, rock solid, better shutter sound, modern Si Cell metering etc...)
It is really a great tool with extraoridinary bulid quality.! And the 1.4/50 is really great and cheap...
For a lighter camera I would recommend the Olympus OM2..., it is like a Leica SLR should have been...
In the hey-day of 35mm film there were very few 35mm cameras that could not properly expose a focused sharp clear image on the film.