Well, guys, I've been following the banter on this thread for a while and find it very interesting. Choosing the right tool always begins with what do you want to do with the tool. Some tools simply allow you to do things; some allow you to do things better; some tools require very little skill to use; still others may have a big learning curve.
Will you be just taking pictures or framing a masterpiece. I would think many of us fit somewhere in between. Some may be happy with the former and some strive for theat one photograph of a lifetime. Any canera can take a picture but only a few can give you the opportunity for greatness. What you do with that opportunity will depend more on your skills of photography but you can not hope to develop those skills without the best camera possible. Some can only spend so much so get the best tool you can afford keeping in mind you want a camera that will allow you to grow.
I owe the Nikon D200 and a number of lens. It was expensive but it encourages me to grow. Just be the best you can be. Don't let what someone else has deminish what you have. Just use it.