I'm a Nikon guy but the D40/D40x are just too small. Also the lack of the ability to use older Nikon lenses would steer me more toward the D80. That is an expensive puppy. If you don't already have any gear then I would look at,,,(GASP),,, the Canon Rebel XTi. Pay a visit and actually hold and use the cameras before you make a purchase. B&H is a good company to deal with as is Adorama. I've bought from both and have not had any problems. My cousin got the D40x from Adorama and is happy with it. It was his first DSLR.
My budget is so tight I can't even pay attention.
Knowledge is good.
"The Coupe has a LOT more boxes than a roadster"