Good Afternoon, Cloud9,
The advice you've been given above seems fine. I would emphasize that any SLR you get should be fully functional (except possibly for the light meter) WITHOUT a battery. There are dozens of good possibilities, and most of us have our favorite(s). I'd start with an all-mechanical model from the '80's or even the '70's; try to get one which seems to have been well taken care of and shows no obvious defects. The prices on most models will be relatively modest, so the risk is somewhat limited. Suggestion--do an APUG search on various brands and you'll should find a lot of information. Keep your eyes open--sometimes these days, people actually give away perfectly good 35mm film cameras.