You've made a great choice. The D7000 has established itself as a camera capable of high quality photography. It will take a bit of learning and experience to master so don't get discouraged. The end result is worth the effort.
Leave room in your budget for a 3rd party guide to the D7000 since the Nikon manual is a bit dry and unintuitive. I personally like the Thom Hogan Complete Guide to the D7000, but there are several that are very good. Get to know the menus and where some of the important settings are. Also get to know what the various controls on the camera body do. Nikon has a great Digitutor for the D7000. Here's the link,