Thomas, I am sure your super duper Epson has paid for itself, but tell me, how many times over has your analog cameras paid for themsleves? Not only that I am sure they will keep making you money long after you decided you need the ultra super duper Epson....no?
But that was not my point, what I was trying to say is that although the digital motto is "content is everything, not the technology" it seems they are the ones more preocupied with the latest gizmo. I beleive the camera should be the window of your imagination, and to acheive that you need to be throughly familiar with the way the camera works.
Jim if the 18 year old had no money, like I did when I was 18, he would probably start with analog. I started with a Beseler printmaker 35, 3 trays a nikon fg one lens and one beseler enlarging lens..the total for all the stuff was under 200 dollars, I bought a bulk film loader and film was cheap as hell....with the price of a high end lap top you can get an excellent analog setup which includes the camera and the darkroom.
Donald thinks we are griping to much and dizzing digital. I think the comments made here are just the response to many of the digital claims. When this site started I posted my rant about "digital platinum gliceč" and I think this is a perfect example, Cone explains that "digital" platinum is better because is easier, you dont have to deal with those "nasty" chemicals and real platinum has become obsolete because is hard to get film and not many people do it any more...his words not mine. So then here we have a manufacturer who is blatanly making untrue and misleading statements, yet nobody says...aww c`mon you are dumping on traditonal platinum. If people like me and others did not speak up against the fallacies of these statements then people will beleive they are true since there is no response from the traditional practicioners. Inarguably a digital platinum gliceč can be beautiful, but it is NOT a platinum print, it does NOT look like a platinum print and anybody who has seen a real well made platinum print will never mistake them for one.
So I dont think anybody who was new to photography and read this would choose digital just on the basis of what was said here, on the contrary I think they would be able to make a more informed choice without the advertisement hype.
There is nothing wrong with choosing digital, but it is certainly not easier or at least not as easy as some people would like us to beleive.