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I think a good starting point might be a D90. They go for about $500-600 used (I'm not too familiar), but you will get 2 control wheels. The D90 can autofocus older AF-D lenses too.
The consumer grade cameras (D3000 series, D5000 series, D40, D60) are all great, but there will be minimal control inputs. If you don't mind that, then they are decent.
The D5100 has been going for very cheap lately after the release of the D3200, and it has a very, very good sensor, and a tilt lcd.
If your budget is around 500-600 for a body, the D90 and the D5100 would be the cameras I'd look the hardest at. If lower, I'm not sure. It really depends on if you prioritize controls (D100, D200), or a more updated sensor (D3000, D3100, D5000). Incidentally, I think a D3100 is a big jump up from the D3000.
Also, some Nikons have a native ISO200 (D90, D5000), so be wary of that.
After you get a body, the $200 35mm 1.8 is a great starter lens.