Less than Picture Perfect - A Small Call for Help!

The weekend was going great until...I dropped and broke our very nice Nikon D40 camera!! I set up a new scene in the Kaleidoscope House using three rooms (read= time+ effort) and ran to get the camera off a top shelf (so the kids don't paw it) and boom! It came crashing down (lens first) out of its bag and onto our computer desk and then made a resounding thump on our wood floor. The automatic focus seems very broken and it now makes a horrible-you-just-mangled-me-inside noise. It still takes pictures (when switched to manual), but they are not in focus at all.

The camera is my friend, my buddy, my essential item to document and share my hobby, so I am royally upset at myself for doing something so stupid. I am working to get it repaired, but will likely be without a camera (and blog material) for a couple of weeks.

The light at the end of the tunnel emerges, however, through the vision and patience of my dear hubby, who said, "You know, with the kids and all, we should have a smaller, less expensive camera anyway, and who wants to lug that thing around on bike rides or other such activity?" Smart fellow.

SO...does anyone in this talented community have recommendations on a good, not-so-pricey ($200 or so) digital camera that works really well for you and your mini scenes? My priorities for a new camera would be the ability to focus on those (very) small details and have it produce photos well in natural light. I'd really appreciate any words of wisdom as I continue to research the options to remedy my klutzy move! Thanks!

UPDATE, 10/2/09 - I brought my camera to a camera shop and they let me know I had only broken the lens, not the camera. So, I decided to purchase a used lens for under $100. Problem solved (for now)!

Image from www.clipartheaven.com