I was using a D70s and getting great shots but wanted additional features such as more pixels and better ISO. I had thought seriously about the D300s until a pro who was shooting @ a football game suggested I should consider the 7k. I researched as best I could and made the decision to go with the 7k. NO REGRETS! The sharpness, resolution, quickness are everything that has been written said they would be. People who make their money by reviewing have given this camera high marks and rightly so. Some of the posts may have scared you somewhat and that can be understandable. However, after really learning and using the camera, I believe the people who made those same posts would now tell you it's a great camera and will become better once they fully understand the camera's technological advancements. Question - Are you willing to devote adequate time to learn more about proper use of any camera beyond a point and shoot? Certainly you are because the D80 is not a point and shoot. Imo, since you use modes other than Auto, you have better than half the battle won. If you have the desire, then your hoped for results can be achieved. Nikon will stand by their product but will you stay the course to become a better photographer? People don't get better at anything by just thinking about it. Good luck in whatever direction you decide to take.
Nobody should seek his own good, but the good of others. <><