i used to laugh at people who used manual cameras and prime lenses and shot only on black and white film. at that time I didn't understand what the whole "fuss" or "deal" it was about.
I always thought that zoom f/2.8 lenses as well as the top of the line camera bodies would make me a better photographer. maybe in the sense, it would boost my ego (or perhaps flaunt my financial status) when I was in a group of other photographers. a good camera makes it much easier to get the picture. but it doesn't do anything to aid our vision, our creative process and our ability to bring forth the emotion to capture in a subject.
people are more afraid when you point a mark II and a 70-200 in their face, and somehow, they subconsciously easen up with a leica m6 and a simple 50mm prime lens. strange isn't?
the truth is, that I've moved back to the region where I meter manually, shoot just on one prime lens - 50mm , and yeah, I prefer black and white film to digital. because to me, photography is about creating, about capturing emotion and about developing my own creativity and vision and discovering myself through the lens of a camera. the camera in itself is just an overglorified light box. its the eye of the photographer that really counts and matters.
so step back if you want to. go back to the time where wedding photographers could focus manually, meter manually, meter flash manually, adjust aperture for every shot (without looking at the camera), adjust shutter (using the dial and not a click of a wheel at our fingers) and rewind it all manual and load the film manual. and then, I begin to really respect all these "old timers" and "veterans" and understand why sometimes they too laugh off all the new technology for photography.
i think if you don't mind, just plonk down some spare cash for a 2nd hand camera body from nikon (fm2, fm2n). and get a prime lens of your choice (50mm 1.4 AI-S?) and some black and white film and go shoot. it certainly won't cost you must but it will most probably be a really difficult transition, yet, you'll get there eventually. when you realise that every shot actually counts and there's always this feeling of "something missing" when you can't visually confirm on an LCD of the shot you just took. you'll be more careful as well as more focused when taking pictures in such cases (rather than waste film?). its fun, trust me.
and when you discover your vision, your creativity as well as having that inate ability to just to adjustthe camera into the settings for the shot you want in an instant without looking at your equipment - when you go back to digital. wow! because your creative genius will surpass all equipment. and all mediums of expression. all the best! move back if you want to. its worth it.
and to top it off. you'll probably be able to handle a camera that 99% of people will struggle to use effeciently. all the best. and let me know.