None of us is rolling in dough in these times. I can understand what you are saying very well.
At home we do have a D40x and a D60. Marvelous cameras.
The D60 is always with the AF-S 18-200mm VRII on. The D40X has the kit lenses; AF-S DX Zoom-NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G ED II and the AF-S DX VR Zoom-NIKKOR 55-200mm f/4-5.6G IF-ED.
The thing is that with these lenses my family members do candid portraits, landscape, parties, travel, ... you name it. And very nicely. When bracketing is felt needed, they do it manually.
The temptation for upgrade is there of course, D90, D300s, D7000. So I have them using flash for the time being, with SB-700 units, for added versatility. And they are having a great time learning bouncing and diffusing.
The time will eventually come to upgrade, so they are saving as much as they can for then. At that time, they will also need to upgrade software: View NX, Capture NX in whatever latest versions there will be.