So United airlines lost all of my camera gear.
D7000, lenses (including an 80-200mm D that I just scored), laptop, Rode mic, flash, everything. They made me gate check my Pelican 1510 or I would have not been allowed on the plane. Then they "lost" it. About $4500-$5000 worth of gear.
So I'm starting again from scratch. I thought about going to Canon, but 5 minutes with the 70D made me swear off Canon forever. I hate the Canon layout.
Here's the thing: I need a camera THIS WEEK, as I am going to Europe for all of May.
Maybe a used D700
Maybe a used D300s
Definitely a SB-700
Definitely a Rode mic, maybe the Stereo Videomic Pro
35mm f/1.8 DX or the 50mm f/1.8 if I go with a D700
Some kind of f/2.8 zoom.
So the question is - what would you buy if you needed to put together a decent travel kit right away?
First, I would contact UA and make sure that they are going to go beyond the $3000 limit and pay for the full coverage of the equipment because either (1) they made you put the bag in check through when you could have take carried it aboard, thus excluding it from your protection, quote 'In particular, airlines seek to exclude themselves from any liability towards the loss of fragile or valuable items in checked baggage. Accordingly, prudent passengers choose to pack these items in their carry on baggage. If the airline now insists on checking that carry on bag, it seems fair that they must accept an unlimited liability for the safety of the contents of that bag.' If you can't get them to admit that you can file in small claims court for 'replacement value'
(2) let you know if your bag when on a different flight and the Pelican case which has 'steal me' written all over it, was in a carousel by itself circling around sharks waiting to be pickup like a surprise Christmas present. You should have been made aware of this possibility, even be offered the options - such as riding on the same plane to avoid this, and thus be offered replacement costs. Again, a possible trip to small claims court.
I do feel sorry for you loss, I've been robbed more than once and it sucks.
As for what I'd replace it with, I think I'd try to look forward to what work I wanted to do and go from there.
If you have to have a kit now, I'd likely go with a 50mm f1.8, f1.8 85mm, and if I could get a D800, a used D700, a D7000, f2 35mm (an FX lens), f2.8 24mm f2.8 lens, and then which ever zooms you think you'd use. The primes would work well for DX/FX and you'd be fixed for both formats, but your wide would suffer, but no more than you have already missed.
Personally, I'd also get the f2.8 14-24mm, and the f2.8 24-70mm, but that would likely be over your budget. It would be for me. ;-)
All the above assumes that the D800 is such a wunderkind that you will grown to throw rocks at the D7000 and sell it to a unsuspecting punk and use FX forever...
My best and my apologies to all punks where ever they are,