Martin Altmann , May 04, 2004; 05:41 p.m.
For most purposes the best idea would be to invest in a slide scanner. These devices cost about US$300 - 1000, maybe some nowadays even less, especially on ebay. I have an Minolta Elitescan II (unfortunately not with USB/Firewire), bought for EUR 450 via Ebay (new), and I am quite satisfied with it. Okay, you additionally need a PC, which you have anyway, since otherwise you wouldn't be asking about scanning. Some of the newer ones can even do bulk scanning, they look like a slide projector. If a density of about 4-4.8 and a resolution of 2880 - 4800 dpi are enough, home scanning would be fine.
presumably the professional scanners get more out of your image, but you pay for it. But you would proably not want to scan your whole collection that way.
The bottom line is: a few scans: find the cheapest place you can get (it won't be much chaeper than what you stated), and let them scan it. many scans: buy a scanner many scans, ultra high quality (i.e. 7200 dpi, D=5+): Either sell your house, car, etc. or wait for one of the next generations of slide scanners