I'll second the suggestion for Horseman. I picked up a VH-R and collected all the lenses and cams and other goodies over a year period. I probably spent $2000 getting all the lenses, meter, backs, body, shades, grip, filters, etc. That was a few years ago. I suspect, today, just a body and lens should be in the $300-$500 range, depending on if you want the VH-R or an earlier (just as good) model.
Originally Posted by 2F/2F
Handheld with ei 400 film, it is a significant improvement over 35mm (as long as there is enough light). On a tripod with T-max 100 it closes in on 4x5 quality.