Coop Build Coordinator
If you would like to try the PIC32 chips but lack a target you may want to look at Brian Schmalz's UBW32. I make my own targets but for $40 I am tempted to get one. SparkFun Electronics - USB 32-Bit Whacker - PIC32MX460 Development Board
Sparkfun has had this on the website for a while, but up to now it has been out of stock.PIC32MX460F512L 32-bit CPU from Microchip. The UBW32 is breadboard friendly and includes all the external circuitry to get the PIC32 up and running. Power can be provided over USB or from an external source. It has 3 push buttons (Reset, and 2 user-defined buttons) and 5 LEDs (Power, USB, and 3 user defined LEDs). All of the 78(!) of the PIC32's I/O pins are broken out. The board comes pre-loaded with a USB bootloader and special UBW firmware that accepts simple serial commands to control the various I/O functions.