If photography is not a profession for you or a means of earning your living, then having fun (at least, for me) is, and should be, the top priority! Unless you have, or contract, a bad case of NAS, then buy what makes you happy to use, and learn (from the best right here) and everywhere else, and you are getting the best of what you should expect for the time, energy, and money you put in.
P.S. I went from a long time D70 - circa 2004(?) (which I still have) to a refurbished D5100, and then on to a D7000, which I really enjoy learning and shooting, all in the past year. But, you should make your own rules for what makes you happiest. I still use my D70 sometimes and it's just fine, all 6 MP's of it.