Pending on your experience, you may want to shoot higher than D40. That's very on the intro level, and if you've shot with an SLR already, it might disappoint on some levels. You have the D40 as a good start, then the D60 which is a slight step up (it's a D40 with a few additional bells and whistles such as a nicer VR lens). Then you step up to the D80 which will give you notably better performance on things like ISO and faster focus. And from there, you can go to last generations semi-pro camera with the D200. Those can be had now for under $1000 and around $1200 I think with a lens. So from bottom to top I'd look at them in this order, D40, D60, D80, D200 and figure out which works best for you. If you are ok buying used, then something like the D200 can be had for an excellent price.