After 2 threads worth of consideration (and help from my brother), I have decided to get a PSP 1000 as my model of choice. This is because it is the cheapest model, and has very little difference in quality compared to the slim models.
That said, I'm really lookig forward to it. I recently picked up a very nice CIB copy of Ridge Racer and a 32 meg memory stick, so I'm all prepared. I'll be buying a refurbished system from GameStop, which I've heard are very nice. They have their screens cleaned and protected with a plastic adhesive strip.
Once I have the system, I'll do another blog with pictures of the system and Ridge Racer running on it, along with an in-depth decription and my first impression. In th meatime, I'll be spending a lot more time with my old games.
The attachted pic is of the 1/2/3000 (in that order; top to bottom) all showing the same picture. You'll see what I meant in the first paragraph.