Agreed, but if you're going to go for that vintage, I'd suggest going for the 10D. It's like the 300D, but with a magnesium-alloy body and a number of different improvements. There are oodles of them out there at a pretty similar price to the 300D. Then again, these days I'd recommend at least a 350D unless you really can't afford it.
That sounds like a good idea, and used is a good way to go. The two recommendations I have are first, be extremely
careful about buying cameras on eBay and second, you again might want to go for a 10D instead of a 300D. Not only does it have the extra features I mentioned above, but it has a shutter life of 100,000 clicks as opposed to the 300D/350D/400D's 50,000. When you start thinking about buying a camera that's about 4 years old now, that's important to consider.
But don't let the age put you off. Last year, I bought a used Canon 10D for about $500 (or less than 1/2 of what it cost new). It's a stellar camera, and no amount of time will ever change that. I'm not making posters so 6 MP
is more than enough for me, and with my bigger sensor and other SLR attributes, I still wipe the floor with modern day point & shoots.
Better to be nouveau than never to have been riche at all.