Summary: Bought one of these when they first came out and loved it. But got tired of going into the menus to make shooting changes. Sold it when I upgraded to a more user friendly camera. It had one thing I really missed from later Nikon cameras, 1/500th flash sync speed. I don't use it often, but missed it. So I picked up a used body for a good price and am not regretting it at all.
Summary: I bought this camera used with a NIKON 55-200 f/4.5-5.6G ED IF AF-S DX VR Lens, both in as-new condition for $300. I paid $45 more to have the mirrors cleaned. Automatic lens focusing is silent, fast, and very precise. My purpose is to take birding pictures in low light with a telephoto lens. The Vibration Reduction helps a lot, and I usually get good pictures by hand.
Summary: I love the feel of this camera in my hand. I used one for years before it took a swim. Then I bought a higher end camera. Although I enjoy the bells and whistles on the 5000, I enjoy the feel of the D40 in my hand. It is part of me and takes wonderful pictures. I bought it second hand, as a back up, and to take on paddling trips, but it's my favorite.
Summary: I love having a camera to take great pictures of my babies. I hated that it didn't have a lens, but for the price who can complain. For now I am borrowing one. The camera really works well as it should.
Summary: This is my 3rd Nikon D40. I have had the D80 and D7000. There are great features on all of them but the D40 will take great pics, is less expensive and very lightweight. Coupled with a fixed 35mm f1.8 lens this is a perfect camera for travel. You can always zoom or crop afterwards and be assured of great low light performance since the 6MP sensor is more sensitive than other cameras with more MP crammed in.
Summary: I thnk that this is an awesome first camera for anyone who is starting out in photography or it's just a hobby for them. It's easy to function. I just love this camera overall. Nikon Rules in my oppionion.