Welcome to the Forum.
My hunch is that you are going to get lots of conflicting information and advice on this one - different recommendations will have different pro's and con's.
In your situation I would argue that you should go for a DSLR camera with a decent lens that will give good results. I use the Canon 300D, together with the 75-300mm IS
lens. My feeling is that Canon are the favoured producer for members here, as opposed to Nikon, though there will be many favouring the Nikon option. Both of my pieces of kit have now been superseded - the 350D is the current 'cheaper' good quality option, and the zoom lens has recently been replaced by an upgrade. But this will not disappoint and will allow you to produce images that you can upload.
To give you a flavour, you can look at my photos here
. Don't forget, this new combination should be even better than this.
I'm not sure about prices these days, but you'll easily find that out on the Net.
Good luck and feel free to ask more questions.