There are so many options out there that you could get all tied up in knots. I agree that the CV Bessa cameras are a great way to start. So many people seem to like the Kievs but I find them interesting but horrible to use, that will get some irate replies! Has anyone mentioned the Retina 111S? An exceedingly pretty camera that is very quiet and has excellent optics. It uses the same lenses as the later Retina reflexes, the whole lens changes not just the front element. I much prefer it to the 111C.