I hope part of the expense includes a card reader and a card or two! Camera-to-computer transfer is so slo-o-o-w -- and now it seems, not so safe either!
My Kingston card readers currently cost about $13.50 at Amazon USA. This 19-in-one reader is useful here because I process my husband's photos -- 2 cameras, 2 different cards-- as well as my Nikon and Canon G12 photos (CF card and SDHC). I keep one in the big camera bag, one in my car, and one hooked up to the computer, and have bought them for various friends and relatives. None have ever failed so far as I know.
I figure I'd rather be opening the card compartment, which seems fairly well sealed off from the rest of the camera (it's dusty here) than messing with the USB connection. For one thing there's not much room on the computer table, and there are power cords all over it. And taking pictures off a card is so fast and easy! Stick card in reader, click on "Computer," click on the card drive until pictures are listed, select them all and drag to storage location on hard disk. Thumbs Plus 7 even gives a choice of moving or copying on a drag.