So this is what you can do with a D40 and the Gimp. Its better than nothing but its hard not to get frustrated when trying to create images like Chase Jarvis or Tim Tadder who have CS4 and pro SLR's (or better medium format cameras). The first mistake I made was listening to the advice of Ken Rockwell. While he may have a good general review of cameras and lenses available on the market his opinion is definitely off a little. He seems to think if your not shooting with a $7000 Leica M9 or a Nikon D3 then the Nikon D40 is fine and more or less all you'll ever need. While the D40 is fine to learn with the low Mp count and acceptable ISO limit of 400 can some times be feel limiting and painful. Tim Kemples advises buying the best gear you can afford at the time, which means if you can afford the D90 over the D40/D5000/D3000 then do it. The D90 has the internal motor capable of focusing AF lenses whereas with anything lower you'll be manually focusing anything that's not AF-S.
Anyway, enough ranting and on with the positive. Photography is about creating images that influence people. They need to pop out and grab your attention. They need emotion and feeling. This means going beyond just pushing a button on a camera too creating something out of an idea. I have not yet mastered this art. Probably out of lack of practice. I had an idea for an image that I posted below but it didn't even come out close to how I imaged and I still need to learn a lot about the Gimp and Photoshoping techniques. Less blogging and more practice.