I dont know much about film cameras, but most of the people i know who have switched have loved it, and even though it is VERY nice to get a free camera, you have to buy new rolls of film, instead of a few memory card. its your call though; i've shot with both and film is great.
My first (and only personally owned) camera was the D60, but i got it for all around shooting as well; i just thought it would be fun to take it out on the snow. however, unless you are making 20x30 prints of your photos, the D40 is fine and MUCH cheeper. I believe the cannon equivalents are the XS (D40) and the XSi (D60). if you go to sites like B&H or adorama, you can find pretty cheep kits, which come with a lense and a body. one of nicest things about the D40-60/XS(i) is that they are extremely light. I use my local mountains "official camera" when i shoot for them; and it weighs a ton.
anyway you go; an slr will produce MUCH better pics then your point and shoot. if you can get 3 free cannon lenses, id find out if they would work with the XS/XSi, and then get the Dslr body (which is way under your limit) and the lenses. hope this helps.