........so I guess I need something that'll keep out the weather.
Right now I don't have a specific budget, though a quick look on Fleabay indicates that Nikon D80 bodies are going for between £250 and £350, which seems about right. Lenses and accessories will obviously be on top of that and there I'm looking for decent performace at reasonable prices - if such a thing can be achieved! My planned purchase date is January - right after folks have got their new shiny toys for Crimble and are cashing in old stuff after the excesses of the holiday season! This'll also give me some time to do research and pick up some books to study.
AW, I'm afraid the D80 will not keep out the weather. Most consumer equipment is not weather sealed. There are some "pro-sumer" cameras that are weather resistant and most "Pro" cameras are weather sealed. You'll also have difficulty finding weather sealed lenses in the "bargain" category. Most weather sealed lenses are going to be pro equipment and they're priced accordingly. I shoot Canon and can't help with Nikon equipment, but maybe someone can help direct you with alternative Nikon equipment.
I shoot with a Canon 7D and it is supposed to be weather resistant. Canon's 1series cameras are their pro models and are weather sealed.