OK so I've got a Nikon D40x - not just my first dSLR but my first camera period (OK except for those toys that come with mobile phones) and I'm hooked. Naturally I have the kit lens, plus the 55-200 VR and the 70-300 VR(why both - see below), monopod, Lowepro backpack, new mac laptop to cope with the files (old one was 8 years old and choked with RAW), monopod, UV filters for each lens and a circular polariser. All within 5 months. I have GAS big time. Now I would dearly love a D300 but I know that a better camera does not make a better photographer. Would you suggest that I stick with the D40x for the time being and hone my skills with that, or is the D300 such an improved camera that I would be mad not to have one. There are other things I'm considering such as a good macro lens (Nikon micro 105mm), a good landscape/wide lens (sigma 10-20mm) and possibly a tripod (but I know so many people with tripods gathering dust that obtaining one would be a simple matter of asking) which may be a better investment, but I keep looking at that D300. Do I really need it - that's the question. Why both? well I managed to break the 55-200 by zooming a bit too hard, but took it back anyway and it was sent off for "evaluation". I expected it to classed as user damage and needed a telezoom for the next weekend so i bought the 70-300. Two weeks later the store called to say that Nikon had replaced the 55-200 under warranty. Hence I now have both.