Out of the box Nikon D3000 was a snap to use. The quick start guide was just that. It got you up and running in no time. However, you have to be a finger contortionist just to get the strap properly affixed to the camera. No big deal; just took me about 10 minutes.
The accompanying lens is a cinch to attach to the body. This camera looks slick. It's more compact and a bit lighter than the other DSLR's I've test run at the brick and mortar stores.
Turn the camera on and the big 3" display lights up with all the camera data I hope to understand one day...f-stop, aperature, numbers, other numbers, dots and squares, and so on. I'm positive they all mean something. The included user manual says what all this stuff means, but not how a newbie like me can manipulate these settings to produce great pictures. But that's what this entry level camera is all about. Baby steps.
Set the camera to AUTO and shoot away. The camera does everything for you. AUTO is fine if you want immediate pictures. But start learning the camera's real capabilities (which only requires some light reading on-line or simple experimentation), and you're shooting your best photos ever. I'm not a big fan of flowers, but I messed with the settings, took a picture of some purpley flowers with a blurry background and, voila, I had myself a Finer Living Magazine cover.
Want pictures of the kiddos? Tired of using your point-and-shoot, pressing the button, and 3 seconds later it takes the picture? You missed the "golden frame". Guess what? This DSLR will take the picture as soon as you press the shutter button. And did you know this $450 camera will take the picture just as fast as the $5000 jobbers? Yes, you knew that. I just wanted to show that you don't need to spend loads of money on a camera to take great pictures.
Is this the camera to have for professional wedding photographs? Not unless it's 4AM at a wedding chapel on the Vegas Strip. At 10MP this camera wasn't designed for the professional to take professional photos. Use this camera for everyday pictures of the family, nature, vacations, your neighbor (kidding).
Some people don't like the fact that it doesn't have video. Who cares? Video cameras are for video. DSLR's are for taking pictures. Want video on a DSLR? Buy the D5000 or a new Canon, Mr. Moneybags.
Overall, this camera has the ability to take incredible photos. Just learn what it's capable of and you'll be very happy with it. You will not find a better price for the D3000 anywhere but Amazon. No sales tax (in most states, I think) saves you $60+.
Graduating from a point and shoot digital to a DSLR makes buying the Nikon D3000 the obvious choice.