Shame on me, I am 8 months late. Back in December I posted that I wanted to play more with light this year, specifically flashes and studio lighting. It's only now in August that I've purchased my first external flash unit. The Speedlight 430 EXII already looks promising. Just sticking it on auto on my camera has produces some very nice portrait shots, I have to say it does make a lot of difference. As far as the settings on the back go though, am flumoxed, so I bought a book with pictures in it. Eventually I'd like to get a transmitter so I can fire the flash off the camera, and the Blue Peter girl inside me likes the look of these DIY light modifier kits.
First though I'll inspect my picture book! Look out for better lit shots!