Honestly, I think a calibrated test for you at this point would be premature.
The image you shared and the problem it revealed have nothing to do with artistic skill or nuanced creative understanding of the many D7000 control options available. It had nothing to do with any of the reported soft focus concerns of the D7000.
The image demonstrates a predictable result of the optical physics in play and the camera settings you selected. As an engineer, you should be able to understand that you could know, in advance, exactly what parts of that image would be in focus and which would not by applying this formula:
Near Point in focus = (D x H2)/(H+D-F)
Far point in focus = (D x H2)/(H+F-D) (if this expression is negative, then infinity is the far point in focus)
Where H is the hyperfocal distance D is the distance at which the lens is focused and F is the focal length of the lens
(Thanks to BobAtkins.com)
I love Nikonians because of the patient, collegial nature of the community. But honestly, you have turned a deaf ear to the many and very consistent explanations and remedies for your image. If you don't understand what has been explained here about depth of field, softness comparison images would not be helpful for you.
The following statements are evidence of your right brain speaking, not the engineer in your left brain:
"There are so many menu screens in a D7000, I am intimidated. I have a hard time remembering not to use f1.8."
"The intent of my original question was to understand how to obtain sharp photographs."
"I selected a photograph of mine that is an EXAMPLE of why it is difficult to understand focus."
"I am totally baffled by the camera menu settings."
">To which camera menu settings are you referring? That, exactly, is my question, I understand the tripod! LOL"
"I doubt few on this site have read as many pages about the D7000 and related cameras and accessories as I have."
"Twiddling with the menus' on the D7000 scares me to death!!"
"Trust me, I am well read."
"This lens, blah, blah,blah, that book, blah, blah,blah, that pic, blah, blah,blah, his opinion, blah, blah,blah,"