Thank you guys for your detailed responses in this thread. I have also always been fascinated with the universe outside of the Earth, and astrophotography is certainly part of that. Unfortunately, I live pretty much dead smack in the middle of Europe's largest heavy light pollution area, with the nearest clear-ish (note the -ish) skies being at least a 3 or 4 hour drive. One day I'll be in or closer to a better area, in the meantime I just enjoy the images of other astrophotographers
You don't have to worry about LP nearly as much these days. You can use a camera lens, DSLR, and a Light Pollution Suppression or Reduction filter, even under the most heavily light polluted "red" and "white" zones. I know quite a few astrophotographers now who live in the middle of or very near to big cities, and they still image.
Look for the Astronomik CLS EOS Clip In filter. It's super easy to use...it literally just clips right into Canon EOS DSLRs. You can then attach the DSLR to a telescope with a T-adapter and T-ring, or to a Canon EF lens (note, you CAN NOT use EF-S lenses, as the short backfocus doesn't leave room for the filter.) There are also other brands that offer similar filters, with varying strengths.
Personally, even though I am under a yellow->green transition zone, I use the Astronomik CLS with my 7D. It has allowed me to get quite a few great nebula shots:http://jonrista.com/category/astrophotography/deep-sky/nebula-deep-sky/
The summer nebula and galactic core season is starting now, and I hope to be getting some more nebula photos with this filter soon.
Anyway, if you really want to do some astrophotography, and already have some Canon EF lenses and an EOS DSLR, then you CAN do astrophotography! You can do ultra wide field astrophotography with lenses of 50mm and wider, wide field with lenses between 50mm and 1200mm, and deep field with lenses longer than that. The Astronomik CLS EOS Clip-in filter is about $140. You can pick up a small equatorial tracking mount and tripod for around $800, or if you want to start even cheaper than that, with lenses of around 200mm and shorter you can use something like the iOpteron SkyTracker, which is about $500.
You could try without tracking, but you really going to be limited to really light exposures at focal lengths below 35mm. So something like the SkyTracker at the very least is important. You could take it a step up, and support larger lenses or small telescopes, with something like the Celestron Advanced VX mount or the iOptron ZEQ25 (the latter being very slightly more expensive but a fair bit better.)