Thanks to everybody who responded with their recommendations and experiences regarding slide and negative scanners!
Thanks also to the moderators for letting the discussion run online for the edification of all as well. I am going to put all the responses into a folder as there is a lot of good information for future reference.
To close the threads here is what I decided to do:
The Epson flatbed scanners seem to get decent marks for a number of you. I decided to order the Epson V600 as it will appears to meet my speed, resolution and ease of use parameters. If I should need something better I can always get a higher grade machine but for now I can at least start to get the slides and negatives out of boxes and see what I have. In addition to doing 35mm slides and various film negative formats the V600 will also handle the aperture cards if I need to scan one or decide to start working through the 1000 cards.
I have had good experience with Epson printers and that was a factor in my decision as well.
A bonus was that with my Best Buy credit card points I was able to get it shipped to me free for less than half the retail out of pocket!
Mt. Juliet, TN