I was at the Macromedia site and they had a program to generate flash for a few hundred bucks, is it worth the price? Not sure if I can afford it. I'm just an experimenter. I would like to play with flash but it looks like its not with in the play budget. Thanks, and I'll keep looking around.
I've heard good things about Adobe LiveMotion... but that'probably also out of your range if you can't afford a copy of Flash.
One option to consider is taking a computer design course or two at a local community college or technical school, and buying software with an educational discount. It can be much cheaper that way, and taking a class may be just the thing to get you started.
Swish is probably your best bet for now. It's much less expensive than Flash, but does the same things (more or less). IMHO, trial versions are the best way to go for now. With Flash you'll get 30 days and with Swish you'll get 15. At the end of both, buy Swish!