Couldn't agree more.
There is something magical about Velvia. i have captured color on this film that I have never been able to duplicate in the digital realm
I have both, a digital compact (Olympus 1030, in PT housing) and also an F4 in a Subal housing. To be honest, 80% of my time I just take the Olympus. 10% the Nikon (mostly with the 20mm) and 10% of the time a technical custom-made camera, or even no camera. IF you decide a D-SLR is your thing, it's worth mentioning that LiveView is a desirable trait to have. If you're mainly shooting non-moving objects, a digital compact is fine, even for big enlargments. Megapixel count by the way is the least important feature, (If I would have been able to get a decent housing solution for e.g. my D40 (!) I would have), how your camera deals with highlight "blowout" and Moire is the most important one, next to shutter lag perhaps.
Back to the original question: Yes, you are mad and so must I be. Any 35mm film SLR with a properly matched W/A and dome should do it for you though. Have you gone down that path yet? (I see this is an old post).
If money was no object and I wanted to go really (i.e. way beyond 20x24") large with my prints (and only then) I would to this day still contemplate a Hasselblad SWC in a Gates housing....(I had an SWC/m for a while, but never got a housing for it). Although my technical camera has 3 to 6-times the theoretical resolution of the SWC, which is quite an achievement in itself, it lacks the (relative) simplicity of the 'blad/Gates combo (and could also do with a slightly better lens, but I'm addressing the lens issue now). Let us know how you're going. Don't get hung up on gear though. There are more links in the chain to making good photos. I find people always look at "what type of camera" and don't ever address all the other issues.
Edited by Carsten5x7, 11 August 2009 - 03:52 AM.