Thanks for your advice! Much appreciated. Seeing as Nikon are seemingly gearing up for some big new DSLR releases (as indicated in the NR headlines the past few days), I’ve decided to wait a little longer rather than rush to get one for my birthday next month. Exciting stuff seems to be just around the corner, and as I’m in no real rush, I’d be mad to jump the gun I reckon.
Had more or less settled for the D5000 as my choice though, mostly due to budgetary reasons, but also because, going from the reviews around, it doesn’t seem to be half-bad! For a start at least. There's not much between it and the D90. Which I also considered, but I figured i’d be better off saving my pennies for some decent lenses. Was considering the 550D/T2i, but prefer Nikon’s lusher greens, reds and yellows. Isn’t a place near where I live where I can try any one of them out sadly, so online reviews are what I’d have to go by.
Am not quite an amateur in photography, in case you’re wondering – did photography as part of my degree, which even involved darkroom work developing black and white film. Know a fair bit of the theory stuff, and keep reading up on it too. Am a 3D CG artist by profession, so know a fair bit when it comes to file formats, HDR, lighting, etc. which helps. I know what I’m doing basically, and I crave the manual controls that you don’t get in the point and shoots I’ve had to live with so far.
Will decide in the coming weeks after seeing what happens with regards to Nikon's announcements...