Got my first one about a week after I got my first PC, never really used a mouse since, and I find that even an A6 size one does the job without having to spend megabucks on the larger ones- yer usually well zoomed in for fine work, anyway.
Never get a sore shoulder or numbness either- ye can use it flat on a desk, on yer knee, whatever- doesn't lock yer hand into one position
The basic one is now the 'bamboo':
http://www.wacom-shop.net/cgi-bin/wacom ... talog/1154
A bit above what ye want tae spend, but see if ye can get an older/sh one- cherrybomb might come up trumps.
*but whatever ye get, make sure it has both R/L button functionality like a mouse*
Spare nibs are a Barstid, mind- everywhere I found stiffs ye a tenner postage!! I got a job lot to make it more palatable, but ye will need a new one at yearly intervals or so.
And above all, ye get to feel a bit James Bond when ye pull it out and plug intae the laptop in front of people.............
<edit>- quick searchy for ye:
http://www.google.co.uk/products?q=waco ... ucts&hl=en
_________________Yer Power b'roight Weak, Old Maan- Oi'll tek yon Loightzaber an' Stick it Up Thy Bum!
If only they had let Dave Prowse do the voice.......
...............buy my old tat!!