Right now my primary camera is a D5000 and I love it. It is considered a "consumer DSLR" which pretty much means it is the second cheapest option from Nikon for a DSLR (big camera). So, it isn't the type of camera you would see a professional use but for $800 it has done me well and I have managed to take some great photos with it. Before this camera I only had point and shoots so it has been a great camera to learn with. I would recommend it or one like it (the latest version is the D5100) to anyone interested in taking great photos, learning photography but doesn't want to spend more than $1000 to start. This is your camera.
To see the types / quality of photos you can get with a D5000 check out all the ones I have posted to my blog that are tagged with D5000.