I bought a D5000 this week. I've been using a Coolpix underwater for years and planned to eventually get into SLR. I have an Alaska trip planned next month and finally caved in. I got the kit with the 18-55mm VR lens and purchased the 50mm 1.4 and 70-300mm 4.5-5.6 VR lenses.
I have a question about the camera when not in use. I've taken a few hundred pictures just feeling it out. I live on a golf course and have plenty of subjects in the 50-100 yard range that I plan to take photos of wildlife in while on my vacation. The screen turns off very quickly and the battery is still showing full after several days. This is great but I am now curious if it is necessary to actually turn the camera off when you arent taking pictures. What about VR lenses? Are they using power when you aren't pressing the shutter button? I bought a spare battery but I want to know how the camera (and lens) functions.