A random sample from my Flickr photostream:
I was never one of those guys that had to document every waking moment of their life with photos; between the ages of ten and thirty I took maybe a couple dozen photographs, in total. It hardly seemed worth the aggravation to futz around with f-stops and shutter speeds and manual focus, then pay a developer’s fee, just to find out two weeks too late that you really should have used a different f-stop, or a different shutter speed, because your images look like garbage.
Thanks heavens those days are long gone, and the digital era now lets us see the results of our handiwork right away. Ever since I got a Treo 600 (with a very poor integrated camera) eight years ago, I now understand the appeal of photography; the joy of capturing unique moments and crafting beautiful imagery. Which isn’t to say that they all turn out wonderfully, but now that you can see the results right away, every photo is a good learning experience.
The equipment of choice these days is no longer a camera phone, but one of my wife’s cameras: either the entry-level Nikon D40X , or the more capable Nikon D90 (usually paired with a Nikkor 18-200mm f/3.5 VR lens). Not the most expensive or most capable gear in the world, but very affordable and very versatile. The 18-200mm in particular is the kind of thing you rarely have to swap out for another lens, unless you want to go to a 70-300mm for longer-ranged work (like an air show).