I wanted to follow up and perhaps end this discussion thread with what my ultimate decision was and how I arrived at it. I try to buy all my camera's locally at Oregon Camera in Corvallis, OR. They had the D7000 listed at the same price as the big discount guys. The advantage of buying from them is that they encouraged me to bring in my D90 and 18-105, plus I tried their 17-50 Tamron which comes highly regarded for sharpness. I took outside pictures at full zoom, mid-zoom and wide angle at wide open, F8 and F18 on all lenses using the D7000 and my D90 at identical settings.
I found some interesting things. Either my D90 is exceptionally good or the D7000 is only average because in some cases, I preferred the shots taken with my D90. In the instances where the D7000 had a very slightly better image quality, I doubt that one could ever see it in a photograph. I also noticed that at iso 400 on both lenses, my D90 shot the scenes at a slightly brighter image at a shutter speed one stop faster. Some trial shots at 1600 iso on the D7000 showed noticable noise at 1:1 in Lightroom.
I realized that I was using kit lenses, so I had a chance at another store to try out a 17-55 Nikkor 2.8. I was taking my shots inside a mall at not a fast shutter speed. The images were crisp and stunning. I guess I will take the advice of one person, I believe it was Bob, who suggested I purchase better glass instead of a new camera. I am now in the market for a used 17-55 2.8 Nikkor.
Thanks again for all those how made comments to my original posting.