Linda asked about the cost of a microscope. Some of the prices you see online can frighten you and my own experience is very limited. However I know what I bought and can give the following info.
I purchased a microscope from Brunel Microscopres and it cost me about £500.00.
It was an SP45D. the "D" meaning it is digital and can be attached to a PC to view and take pictures. Although the screen shot is far less detailed than looking down the eyepiece, I feel it is good enough to measure spores and ornamentation etc and the pictures can be improved a lot by software, which I can show at our microscope talk in the new year.
The camera on my microscope is 1.3M and I see that Brunel do a monocular microscope (SP20D) with the same camera for just under £300, which presumably takes the same images as mine. It also does a similar microscope with a better 3M camera, (SP27D) for just over £400.
However I see that the same Brunel Microscopes are for sale at http://www.boddingtonkoi.com for about 10% less and free postage.
All the best.