I would recommend digital for a number of reasons. No film cost unlike 35 mm. You can view the image on the camera while still in the situation, unlike film. Much easier and less costly over the long-term if you want to do your own post-processing as opposed to learning film developing. Really depends on what you hope to achieve in the hobby aspect and how much you want to invest. Easy enough to have someone develop your film for you, but you don’t know until the film is actually developed whether you have achieved a good photo or not – especially while learning. I personally prefer Canon, although Nikon is also a good choice. Both makers are highly competitive with each other and offer very good cameras. Another consideration is do you want a point and shoot or DSLR (digital), and how much do you want to invest in your hobby? www.dpreview.com is a very good site to review comparisons between different cameras, pluses and minuses, so you can make a choice in line with your budget, your preferences and such. Before buying whatever camera you decide on, find a local retailer so that you can hold it, touch it and feel it to make sure it is a comfortable fit in your hands. Then shop around via the web for best price. www.dpreview.com also offers suggestions in that respect.
When I began to take photography more seriously, I started with the Canon A710 IS. Good camera for a point and shoot but in retrospect, I regretted not starting with a DSLR to begin with and have since upgraded. However, I still carry my point and shoot everywhere I go as it’s lighter and less equipment to carry when I venture out without the specific intent of taking photos for those moments that sort of present themselves.