Let’s get one thing straight: The number of megapixels is a measure of how many dots make up a digital photo, not a photo’s quality… more megapixels do come in handy in three situations. First, an 8-megapixel photo has enough resolution for giant prints–20-inch-by-30-inch posters, for example. Second, more megapixels give you the freedom to crop out a huge amount of a photo to isolate the really good stuff while still leaving enough pixels to make reasonably sized prints.
Third–and let’s be honest here–it’s fun to blow people away by telling them you have an 8-megapixel camera [source]
If you have an outdated, branded 2MP camera, but competent enough to handle a film SLR (manually), chances are, you are much, much better than the idiot next to you who had his mom buy him the latest bazilion-MP DSLR with a two-foot zoom lens, so he could look uber-cool.