I would have to disagree with achipps, to me a mouse is much harder to use than a tablet. Of course there is a learning curve to a tablet (like all things in life) however once you get the hang of it, life is so much easier.
Most artists don't advertise what they are using whether it is a mouse or tablet so thats just a complete generalization with no facts to back it up. I do however know for a fact, if you want to take your art to a higher level then a tablet is a crucial piece of equipment, no it doesn't automatically make you a great artist, it does however give you a great deal of speed. There is a reason you don't see professional digital artists using a mouse.
That being said I Love my bamboo, is a wonderful little tablet. I thought I needed a bigger more expensive tablet, and it wasn't long before I went back to using my bamboo exclusively and sold the intuos. I will seriously cry the day it stops working.
You can get a older model on eBay for amazingly low. After I posted that I actually went and got a back up for mine so that when it does eventually kick the bucket I have a brand new one waiting to be used. The bamboo that I'm personally addicted to is the older model bamboo fun CTE450 I only paid $50 for it and its brand new sealed in the package.... Good luck and I'm sure you will love which ever one you end up getting!!
That sounds like I can sell you any tablet and you just might buy the worse one if I make you thing it is the best.
Well, I am going to show facts. If you get a tablet you will need to learn how to use it. To do that you will need to stop using the mouse because that is to easy. You need to force yourself to get better with the tablet.
A lot of people will make you believe that a tablet is an artist tool, but the most use artist tool is really the mouse. There are thousands more artist using a mouse than there are people using a tablet, but they stay silent, and think one day they will get a tablet.
Think of why would you need to stop using a mouse if a tablet is better, because the mouse is easier, and you know how to use it better.
You can take advice from millions of artist, and people visiting art sites just to sell tablets, or you can loot at the art and take the advice of real artist that know what they are doing. When an artist uses a tablet, you should see something saying they use a tablet. If you don't see that then there is a great chance they use a mouse.