I understand your frustration. I've experienced exactly the same thing with my D5000. I expected to be able to take the skills I had developed as a film photographer and translate them directly to my new DSLR. It hasn't worked out that way.
As a film photographer, I was always in Aperture Priority mode to control Depth of Field and allowed the camera to choose the shutter speed to make the exposure acceptable. I've never done much action photography, but when I did, I'd go to Shutter Priority to freeze the action and let the camera handle the aperture.
With digital photography, the previously 'fixed' side of the exposure triangle (ISO) has been made a variable as well.
After dealing with the initial frustration of not being able to shoot the way I was used to shooting, I've adapted to use the tools the camera gives me. Those tools are the SCENE modes.
I learn from the SCENE modes by looking at the EXIF data to see what the camera did, and I've tried to duplicate that through in-camera settings and Manual Mode. I'm improving in that respect, but I still use the SCENE modes to get better pictures now, while I'm still learning.
What has changed from film to the DSLR is that film processing has been replaced by post processing. For snapshots, I've always been happy letting a lab do the processing, but for important pictures I've always done the film processing myself.
The same is true for digital. For 'normal' shots, I'm content to use the in-camera SCENE modes to produce JPG images that are more than acceptable.
When I want something special, I use the NEF images and process them with Lightroom and Photoshop. When I consider Lightroom and Photoshop as analogous to the darkroom, I can use tools to achieve the same style that I had with film. Of course, as I learn more about it, I can do much more than I ever could with film.
This brings me to what I consider the most important component of an image. If your image is composed and exposed properly, you have a great starting point. If they aren't, you have to do much more to achieve the same level of results if you even can.