SLRs definitely give you the best options for composing your pics and for light control. I have an old Olympus OM-1 that's relatively light and compact - for an SLR. The Canon Rebel cameras are also light and compact, and offer the option of "point and shoot" features when you want them.
Having said that, I find I almost never take the Olympus anymore. Once I started carrying a little point/shoot camera I took a lot more pics because the camera was always at the ready. Also I just find the bulk of an SLR, even the more compact ones, annoying.
Right now I'm using a Yashica T4, a little gem of a camera that's been climbing and backpacking with me for the past 5 years. My wife prefers an Olympus Stylus Epic Zoom (35 - 70 mm), which has worked well for her. These little autofocus cameras have their limitations (my main gripe is the lack of some compensation for bright background conditions), but the small size and light weight win out.
Film. I went through the Velvia phase, but eventually decided it was just too "blue" for me. Returned to my beloved Kodachrome 64 until a camera shop guy convinced me to try Ektachrome E100VS. Fine grain, "warm" colors, I like it.
I used Kodachrome 64 originally because it was supposed to have excellent archival properties (gee, I certainly hope someone would want to look at my pictures a millenium from now ). Some of the earlier versions of Ektachrome had poorer archival qualities--my guess is that it has improved by now. Here is an older book review on the subject:
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