This is the graphics tablet that I am currently using. I love Wacom’s Intuos3! It preforms great and can usually be found for a decent price.
Along with the pen, the Intuos3 comes with its own special mouse. The unique mouse is wireless but will only work on the tablet. This allows you to treat your tablet as a mouse pad when you don’t wish to use the pen.
I originally went with the 4x5inch model to save money, but I much prefer to work big! I find that the large tablet lets my hand move more naturally, as if I were working traditionally.
I actually have the 12x12inch size, but I am linking to the 9x12inch because it is better suited for most monitors. If you don’t mind customizing your settings a bit then buying an odd size is just fine.
I still use the Intuos3, because I am very happy with its performance and it was much cheaper than buying a newer model. Compared to other tablets at similar prices, this one will give you the most bang for your buck.