Lady Ada over at Adafruit has boarduinos in stock. These are arduino-style microcontrollers that are set up to fit on breadboards. This solves one of the pin spacing problems on the digital i/o side of the original arduino board and they’re cheaper because you’ve gotta have your own usb to tx/rx conversion tool.
I got one of those little usb to tx/rx converter doohickies recently at the NYU computer store right near Washington Square park. You also need one of these little tools for the Lily Pad ‘duino, so get yourself set up!