What about upgrades to toy cameras? For example I have been experimenting with replacing the lens in a holga with a glass lens from junk polaroid One Step and similar cameras. Does that move beyond the toy camera aesthetic?
I consider disposables a toy camera. If you deduct the cost of the roll of film included it is very cheap. As well as any old 110 instamatics if you can find film for them.
"Fundamentally I think we need to rediscover a non-ironic world"
We have a serious bunch of toy camera people in Ann Arbor, MI. The Krappy Kamera Club is having an exhibit of members' prints in March. Some of our stuff is online here: http://www.flickr.com/groups/krappy/pool/