there are plently of nikon mount around so like some nikon users have mentioned so i leave it to other nikon users to say more if they want.
i for one is one of those who upgrade step by step: p&s --> pro-consumer --> entry lvl dslr.
yes to some is a waste of money of cos i also think so sometimes but it was a relaxing hobby that help me pass my time during poly years whenever i'm not hitting the books and even till now after army.
i still have my 1st p&s and pro-consumer with me.
most ppl would assume that during travels my entry lvl would be my primary cam but sorry to say i prefer the lighter weight of my pro-consumer which have served me quite well during trips to KL and japan.
i'm not really a serious hobbist like i used to be during the early stages so i'll just stop at entry lvl will do as the weight of the semi-pro bodies is quite a concern to me since i like to move around as light as possible.
besides basic photography is never meant to be cheap in the 1st place. most beginners if not careful in doing more hw, normally their 1st cam purchase would quite dear if they like more freebies.