Okay, here's some background info leading up to the [obvious] question with further elaboration: I have been using a 28 pin PICAXE for small projects here and there for the last couple of years and am ready to move up. My current project is the PICAXE as a data acquisition module. I have simply mounted the board inside an enclosure, and run the inputs and outputs to [a lot] of screw terminals on the outside for quick and painless component swapping. (And for further visualization, I also built in a 5V regulator and put in a DC jack so i can hook up a universal wall wart for power and wired the USB connection to a mini-usb that can be plugged into from the outside.) Well, interfacing with the computer is pretty much a pain with the PICAXE, and it can only be programmed with their official program.
So, I am going to upgrade to Arduino. I was thinking the Arduino Mega Starter Kit because it seems like the most versatile, and I know that whatever board I get will be the board I will be using for a good while. If I could do it over again, I would have started with the Arduino.
The things I am most interested in is data acquisition and sending data back to my computer, as well automation, which I know will not be an issue. I have experience with C and BASIC but I prefer C; I am not sure if the there is a difference in language across Arduino's or not. So, what would you recommend as the most versatile Arduino that will accomplish my current goals and keep me fat and happy on capabilities for whatever strange things I desire doing next?
As a secondary question: is it possible to interface any (or all) of the Arduino's with LabVIEW?