Some people pick up a mid level camera like the D5100 and put it into the auto mode, and take some decent shots, try some more creative stuff, also can learn a lot if they put some effort into it.
Without a basic foundation in photography skills, they actually may do better with a good point and shoot.
There is another side to it. With a camera like the D700, I honestly think that with good basic knowledge of exposure and camera menu systems, the nice FX cameras are a lot easier to take great pictures with. I really have to work hard at it with the D5100 to get the same result, because I'm not that talented. With the D700 set properly and with a 70-200 set to f-2.8, it's hard not to take a beautiful picture. The color, the sharp focus, the beautiful bokeh, it's obvious to everyone that the camera does do a lot. Skill and artistry can also get you there with a cheap camera, and is so amazing with a great camera. A lot of good seasoned photographers look down on people with nice FX cameras and top shelf glass who don't have much skill or experience.
There's a nice lady who works in the marketing department of a company I worked with, and has a beautiful Canon 1DMark4, and a collection of L lenses. She's not dumb by any means, but has no clue what an F-stop is, and takes thousands of beautiful pictures and incredible video. A pro could do much better with cheap stuff, but she definitely couldn't. And I've heard one excellent photographer talk about how he was almost sick to his stomach seeing her with gear worth multiple times what his car was worth, but it's her money.
I'm probably not adding much to this discussion... but I will say this. The 70-200 f2.8 makes a great portrait lens, great pro-journalist lens, and a great sports lens. It focuses fast on a good body. BUT... a very cheap 55-200 VR on an DX body will do as good with static subjects, with the same camera settings, in good light. Unless you need fast lens, fast focus, shallow DOF (notice I said same setting, the 55-200 is a long ways from f/2.8), you can save a lot of money and weight.