While I still love and adore my Professor Kobre's Lightscoop, Standard Version Bounce Flash Device, I've decided it's time to upgrade to a bounce flash. What perfect timing, just as I began to research options we found this article - Speedlite reviews for Canon cameras.
This is the one that appears to be the best possible fit for my needs - Canon Speedlite 430EX II Flash for Canon Digital SLR Cameras.
So if you have a Canon DSLR then the light scoop is a great start, along with the Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II Camera Lens. The lens truly makes a HUGE difference in low lighting, and it's just over $100 (vs. $400 for the f/1.4 or $1500 for the f/1.2 lenses.) The 430EX II flash is around $280 vs. the $480 for the 580EX II flash. I'm mindful of your budget, and mine!
Shop around and you can find some great deals, and do your homework so you know which equipment is best going to fit YOUR needs. The latest/greatest/most expensive may not be what's best for you. Spend some time learning how to better use your equipment and then see what specific upgrades can make your work even better.