I have been saving money for almost an year. Why did I purchase this camera? Here's why -
1) I could wrap an extra lens - 55-200 VR within my budget because it happens to be the cheapest camera around
2) It uses the same image processor as D50 and D80. A lower cost doesn't necessarily translate into inferior image quality.
3) Very very user friendly. I didn't have to look at the manuals despite the fact that I come from a P&S background & this is my first DSLR.
What I didn't care for -
1) It only focuses with new AF - S motor/ HSM(Sigma terminology) lenses which typically means that your old lenses are of no good (of course they will work in the manual mode but won't autofocus). I didn't mind this at all, as I have no legacy lenses and no plans to invest immediately in lenses either.
2) The 6.1 megapixel serves me just fine.It is good enough to give me a 12'' x 8'' inch (30 cm x 20 cm) pics and that is good enough to be framed and hanging in the wall .I wonder why people fall for the Megapixel Myth.This is nothing but a marketing gimmick employed by all camera manufacturers. I ,in all probability , would never require a 10 MP pic and certainly do not want to pay $150 for something I will never need .Being a database administrator , I hate to see big file size ;-)
Friends, this was a quick review. I got a better product than what I had anticipated. The low light image quality and speed just blew me off . Consider taking 3 shots in a second in low light ( I am used to P & S, hence I am delighted). Anybody who wants to switch over to their first DSLR and is low on budget, I recommend NIKON D40 to them. Period.
My suggestion is that you should take the reviews in the websites with a pinch of salt. More than being of any help, they confuse. I would be testing the NIKON D40 outdoors over the weekend and I am very excited about that!
UPDATE - Dec 11 - Guys Nikkor 50mm/1.8 and 50mm/1.4 works like a gem with manual focus . Thanks to Bala for such a great link .Check out this resourceful gp -