There is a well-known issue that probably occurs in every field … beginners don’t really know what they want, they don’t really know the field, and they don’t really know what they don’t really know. The more aggressive ones actually argue with you when they clearly don’t know sh*t from Shinola … in the end, of course, no one listens to advice anyway :-)
I know that I went through a long progression to get to the equipment I am using right now … the wonderful D300 and D700 with a few nice lenses, but nothing in Nikon’s professional lineup (which would have cost me about 6 grand) …
I started with the Fuji F11 and added the Nikon D70s with Sigma 18-200 after about 6 months. I added the Nikon 70-210 F4 lens from 1985 a while later, then the Sigma 105mm 2.8 Macro. I ended up adding another 10 lenses of various descriptions … mostly used … but I also got the Nikon 18-200VR after trying to resist for a long time. I added the Nikon D2Hs when I could not get my 300mm F4 AFS to play nicely with the TC17e and D70s. The extra current in the D2Hs battery solved the (known) problem for a while. Less than a year later I realized that the D2Hs was mostly a wedding cam (a darned good one too) and traded it for the D300. I took a bath. One of many along the way.
After shooting models 5 times in 2009 I held a fire sale for most of my equipment and acquired the D700 on the proceeds. This at least was revenue neutral. Along the way, I acquired the Canon G10 for concerts, the Panny ZS3 and Fuji F70EXR and F80EXR for the same and for general purpose shooting. The G10 was sold … I still have the other three.
So … the point … this hobby is expensive if you don’t shortcut the learning curve and buy well right up front. You also need patience to wait a couple or generations for the next upgrade. That depends of course on what you shoot. But patience is a virtue in photography.
Now … the real point :-)
I saw a link in the D1-D3 / D700 forum at DPReview to the following article. It documents a theoretical progression that can cost 10 grand for many people, when spending less than half of that would have been far cheaper and less painful. An interesting and somewhat amusing read …