I know this is an old post, but It's an important topic for me and probably for everyone who has grown up in and around a Christian church. So I just wanted to add a couple of things I have found that helped me.
I grew up in Tennessee in a Church of Christ, but I stopped going when I left home at 18. I got tired of the rhetoric. Everyone I had known believed in the Bible as if it were handwritten by God himself as a record of history, spirituality, and everything else. God created the heavens and the Earth. His son Jesus was born to a virgin on Christmas day, etc, and I was supposed to believe in it in the same way as everyone else did.
Buddhism, as some of you have mentioned, is sometimes referred to as "a finger pointing to the moon." I personally believe that most of what Jesus said in the New Testament could fall into that "finger pointing to the moon" category. I recently read "Without Buddha I Could Not Be A Christian" by Paul Knitter, and he elaborates more on this idea. (I still haven't come to terms with the A-hole God of the Old Testament, but the book a previous poster suggested sounds interesting)
...but I said all of that to say that if, as Jesus suggested, God is love, then I can see Nirvana and God or heaven being close to the same idea. Knitter talks about this in more detail, but the love(God) that Christ spoke of parallels the compassion roused in the Buddha.
Oh, and here is a picture of a flying saucer.