Thanks everyone for the comments Bill, you're going to love the AE-1...it's a great camera.
ntenny: I'm embarrassed to say this, but even though I own 3 AE-1s (and about to buy another one today), I'm not sure if they share the same metering system...I know the display is different...the original had a needle whereas the Program has little LED lit numbers. None of my cameras ever see any sort of auto/program/priority mode, though...but I'm very happy with the AE-1P's metering...it's a superb tool
I haven't written off slide...I just haven't shot it in so long and I'm not sure who develops it around here...plus, this whole film thing is a novelty right now (one I'm getting a little obsessed with haha), so I'll go along with C41 for now until I find out more on slides.
I googled the NEXRAD towers and yeah they look very similar! Although I don't think those have the same soccer ball tiles as this one does...could just be a different cover for different climates? Who knows...
Oh yeah...and I decided on film...I threw a roll of Kodak Gold 200 in it...I was so happy with the colours of this camera that I didn't want to toss B&W in it, plus I want to see back-to-back rolls of Kodak and Fuji and compare them and see which one I should stick with. I think the Ilford will live in the Ansco