Whatever you get you'll probably need a 10x zoom and >3MP for digital. Any of the Olympus 7xx series will probably do. I've got the 720 which is 8x and 3.2MP and suffers from no manual focus, but I like it so far. My pics generally go to Myaviation.net. Being at MAN
there's usually a runway full of people taking the same pictures that turn up on A.net.
To see what's out there...
Then you'll need rechargable batteries, a card reader (maybe) unless you can USB download and a memory card (128 or 256MB). The 16MB that cameras come with will let you take about 8 photos before they're full (SHQ setting).
Going the film route will undoubtedly end up a lot more expensive in the long run, simply because of the costs of film and D+P. Then you'll need a slide or print scanner. And there's the downside of not getting the instant feedback of whether it's going to be a decent photo or not.
And then.... you'll need the software to sort out the images. Photoshop seems to be very popular (£400 or so) Photoshop elements may do what you need (comments, anyone) for a fraction of the price. I've got Corel photo paint (v7 - I've had it a few years) that does what I need it to.