As far as cameras go, I have to always recommend the Canon Rebel t2i.
It takes amazing photos as well as super high quality video for what you buy which is around $800 these days.
When I take photos I'm more of a micro shot and portrait kind of guy myself. I'm not a very active photographer in my day to day life, but I do have my spats of inspiration.
Do you have a place online that you post your photos like flickr?