Dear Alan, I wish I had the immediate right answer, but only you can do that. It's a bit like asking shall I take the red or the blue shoe. But what I can say is, if you can, try and hold a few cameras, put a roll of film through them, see if the ergonimics fits your hands and style. Personally I prefer less bells and whistles (less automatics) and just manual cameras. I get distracted by them or they just get in the way. But then again, that's a personal thing. I have Nikon gear which has served me very well but then again Canon is the favourite choice for others. Nikon vs Canon has been a never ending debate. Again, I suggest you try out different cameras and see which fit 'you' better, even if you hire them for half a day or so. Also, an expensive camera does not guarantee the best photographs.
Now, if you hang around APUG for a while you'll soon find yourself upgrading from a 35mm SLR camera to a medium format 120mm camera, then to a large format and well, then why not the ultra large format!
You're first investment may not be perfect forever as our needs, aspirations and know-how changes in time.
Enjoy your photographic journey.
Kindest regards, Nicole