kintatsu: the string idea is one that I have known about but (stupidly?) never tried. It really does answer many of the questions with a simple comcept that is worth trying and very easy to implement. I wonder how many others reading this have tried this 'no frills' approach?
benjiboy: yes, another whole thread could be dedicated towards "what would have happened if digital had never been invented?". What really astounds me about digital cameras (I finally bought a used Canon IS S2 Powershot for $30 and do love it but see some deficiencies faults with regard to film cameras) is the fact that most indoor scenes do not require flash and can be handheld, both because of the IS (image stabilization) and the speed capability of the sensor. The lack of shadow in the back of the subject is very desirable.
All: At least I am not the first person who has posed this question. Thank you for the links. Informative, if not frustrating. - David Lyga