UPDATE: Reader Thomas Van Gilder emails: "I'm on the verge of getting the Nikon D70 and am wondering if you would recommend the 'standard' lens that is most often bundled with it. I scrolled through your D70 comments and couldn't find anything but an oblique reference to the lens that came with your D70."
Dang. That's an omission. The "kit" lens (it's an 18-70 ED) that comes with the D70 outfit is a very respectable piece of glass. The quality is excellent, and the focal range is quite versatile, though I often find myself wishing for a bit more reach at the telephoto end. I've also got the 28-200mm zoom that I wrote about here. I'd like the 12-24mm wide-zoom lens, too, but it's a bit pricey. (I did buy this 50mm normal lens though -- it was cheap, at under a hundred bucks, and it's fast and sharp). Other questions answered here. If you wind up buying a D70 -- or a Canon Digital Rebel, which is an excellent camera, too, despite my Nikon-preference -- be aware that there are rebates out on both. More information on those at DPreview.com.
And, by the way, if you're into making video you might be interested in this veterans' living history project sponsored by the Library of Congress and currently being touted by my brother.
ANOTHER UPDATE: Here, BTW, is a gallery of photos (mostly from Knoxville and its environs) by SKBubba, who also uses a D70. But here's a photo of his favorite bird.
YET ANOTHER UPDATE: More northern lights pictures here, taken with a Digital Rebel. Very cool. Thanks to reader Jim Bass for the link.
STILL MORE: Over at Entropy Manor we get this observation: "I need an inexpensive hobby which gets me away from the computer thank you."
MORE STILL: Got this email on the kit lens:
Dennis here (of the 'aurora borealis' link you posted recently). I agree completely with your assessment of the 18-70mm kit lens being included with the D70. One additional note is how well-built, quiet, and fast the lens is. It's a great all-purpose unit that is well worth purchasing, even for people who only have a D70 body.
Yes, I'm very happy with that lens.
And reader Mike Maas sends this link to a page of high-resolution images that I think I've mentioned before. But it's still cool.