Well, I took the plunge and upgraded my camera...
My old trusty was nothing to sneeze at and I still have fond feelings for my D40, but I was ready to upgrade to a camera that gave me more capabilities.
The D7000 coupled with this lens has been turning out beautiful shots. I am still tweaking the exposure settings so that I have less post processing to do, but so far so good. I will also start processing in photoshop so that I can apply some artistic edits to my photos as well.
I am already lining up a few brave souls to capture on film...I'm excited!