#1. "RE: Am I really ready for a different camera?" In response to In response to 0
Tallahassee, Florida, US
Yes, Tony, you're ready for a new camera AND faster glass! A D90 and up (or used, D70, D80) will have separate command wheels for aperture and shutter speed, helping with limitation (1) in your list. I still see D90s new, and that's a nice camera. Also look at the D300 and D7000.
As for faster glass, depending on what focal length you want, the 35mm f1.8, 50mm f1.8, and 85mm f1.8 are all reasonably priced. I have all three (actually a 50mm f1.4, but close enough) and though I use my slow zooms more, sometimes there is no substitute for faster glass. You could look at some f2.8 zooms, but three drawbacks there are, they are much more expensive than primes, they aren't as fast if you really need a fast lens, and they are bigger and heavier.