muaddib (or may I call you Paul?),
A whopping big SLR will be fine if you never envision using it off the tripod. I'm going off to the city for a three day course, and I'm leaving behind the Leicas and the 35mm SLRs and taking a Bessa III. With Delta 3200 and a monopod I'll have fun in the evenings, and if things get too boring at the course I have some Pan F and some Tri-X, and I won't need the monopod. There's a certain pleasure in using MF as if it were a compact format.