CF stands for Compact Flash. It is a removeable card that stores the digital images when you are shooting. You MUST have this for your camera. Think of it as a mini hard drive. You can download to your computer using firewire or you can get a PC Card reader for your computer. You slip the CF Card into the PC Card reader and your computer actually reads it as another hard drive. I have a 1GB Microdrive but some do not like them because of fear of failure. Personally I like it. Actually I have a laptop so I will slip the card out of my camera straight into one of my PC Card slots in my laptops.
NEF files is a Nikon specific type of RAW file. When you read about RAW files in other digital forums, think of NEF files when it comes to Nikon. You can take pics in jpeg format but this comes at a price of image quality. To get the highest possible quality in the finished product, it is best to take in NEF format. This gives you the widest possible latitude in post processing using Adobe Photoshop, etc. Photoshop and other graphic programs cannot read NEF files to view without having an NEF plug-in. This plug-in does not come with these programs. You can download Nikon Capture 3.0 for a 30 day test drive. This reads NEF files but what it also does is provide an NEF plug-in for Photoshop. If you decide not to buy Capture, the NEF plug-in will be available within Photoshop. If you do not have a program that will read NEF files, you will need Capture to at least save the file in TIFF or Jpeg format. I actually like Capture. I can play around with the controls and see what a pic would look like if I had that control set within the camera. I am speaking of controls such as sharpening and white balance. I do use Adobe Photoshop for post editing.
Have I made this all about as clear as mud?
By the way, I am in Virginia as well but I am making a move to Colorado this winter.....
I have a D1H and I love the speed. I can live without the resolution that can be had with the D1X but I could not live without the speed of the D1H.