bangaio, there's only one way to do what you want, and it's called trial and error. However, not all has to be more error than trial.
First off, if you will use a meter, get the one your dad used. They were made for Leicas, and they're designed to "communicate" mechanically with the camera to help you set the best exposure.
If you want to go meterless... I believe Doug or Joe told me a little secret: use a meter to take an incident light metering from yourself (provided you're not wearing bright colored clothes) and set it in your camera. As you photograph different scenes, adjust either aperture or shutterspeed to the varying degrees of light of the scenes you want to shoot. Bear in mind that shadows can go from 1 to 3 stops, depending on the intensity of the sun. Do this with print film, as it is more forgiving than slide. If you choose slide film, take a quick metering for every shot.
Remember: meters aren't perfect either. I have a small portable Sekonic L208 that tends to overexpose. I found it out after my very first roll in my meterless Mamiya C220. After that, I always set the ISO a bit slower to compensate for the off-metering. So far, so good.
About films, you can try either a classic like Kodak Tri-X, or any of the chromogenic films available. Just don't expect good results right away. Since you've had so much experience with an SLR, you'll soon find out that guessing the right exposure isn't too difficult.
Sorry, I still haven't mastered the art. All my cameras, except my medium format ones, are metered... Still, I do have a little experience at meterless shooting and I hope it adds to the great advice you've received so far. Good luck!