Yesterday I got back to my apartment to find a brand new camera body (which was supposed to be there) and my new lens and CompactFlash card for it (which were supposed to arrive next Tuesday). Rather than a weekend sitting and staring at the shiny gold box (really, Nikon? Is that really necessary?), I had the camera all ready to go by about 6:00 last night. I started photography with a Pentax K100D a little less than two years ago. I started shooting 35mm film (mostly black and white) a year or so later, and before I knew it, the K100D was collecting dust. While part of it was my infatuation with film, it was also my frustration with my glass (I will never use another kit zoom) and the awkwardness of using the camera the way I wanted to. Important things (ISO!?!?) were buried in menus, and the simplicity and functionality of my manual 35mm SLRs really highlighted the clunkiness of of my DSLR. I was at a point where I needed to either invest in some half decent Pentax glass (and a K20D) or jump ship to another system. Since I was planning on getting rid of basically all of my existing Pentax gear, the price difference wasn't too great, and since I've been frustrated with Pentax for years now about their inability to put out professional-level gear (as discussed in a few other threads), I decided to look elsewhere. I did my research, decided that solid glass would be a better investment than a top-of-the-line body, and figured out what I could spend. Then I held a D200. I know it's closing in on five years old, and I know the D300 performs better at high ISO (as does the D90). I know the D300 has a CMOS sensor and better resolution. But when I set my price limit for the body, it was clear that the D200 fit my needs best. I paid $650 for the body new (compared to close to $800 used on KEH) from Best Buy online (as soon as I saw that sale I had to pull the trigger- D200 vs D60?), and it's 100% domestic market kosher with the warranty to match. A D90 was more than I wanted to spend, and for the price of a D300 I could've had more D200s than I have hands. D300s an D90s are amazing, and either is better than a D200, but if you don't have the money, you can't spend the money, and that's what it comes down to. I'm confident that I bought the best camera I could comfortably pay for. After a solid evening of playing around, I am really impressed with this camera. Build quality never gets outdated, and I think I could definitely use this thing as an anvil (or a blunt weapon) if the need arose. The speed and intuitiveness of operation are mind-blowing as well. I don't need to hunt around to get to adjustments I need, and the custom shooting banks are great for setting up different profiles for the different conditions I shoot under. I want to learn more about controlling artificial light, and that was going to be a steep learning curve on film. I think this camera will help me through that just fine. I also ordered the 50mm f/1.8 to go with it. I was torn between getting the 50 now or waiting a week or two for the 35, but ultimately I think I'll end up with both. The 50mm-on-DX 75mm equivalent is less confining than I thought it would be, and for $125 I am very impressed with this lens. The build quality leaves something to be desired (has anyone actually turned that aperture ring? It's like a Fisher-Price toy), but Nikon prioritized right. It autofocuses quickly even without the built-in motor (thanks, f/1.8) and the results so far look great from an optical standpoint. I'll be playing with it more outside today. I guess the moral of the story is it feels good to be (part) digital again.