My name is Jeff Loughlin, and I've been interested in photography for most of my life. My first camera was a 110 pocket camera somewhere around 1980ish, and a few years later I moved up to a Minolta SLR that was given to me as a gift. I used that camera for the next 15 years with nothing but a 50mm lens, and then I switched to a Nikon N80 after my daughter was born. I loved the Nikon system and the selection of lenses available, so I waited eagerly for their digital SLRs to come down into my price range. I tried a few compact digital cameras in the meantime, but was quickly frustrated by the shutter lag and lack of low light performance. I finally took the plunge when the D70 came out, and it was like entering into a whole new world. Since then I've been through a few other iterations of Nikon bodies, and I'm now happily shooting away with a D700, which I will keep until it dies. Even though it's a few generations behind in technology, it does everything I need it to, and the images it makes are flawless.
I buy good lenses. I buy them used, and I treat them well, and when I'm done with them I sell them for what I paid. There is no point in buying cheap glass to put in front of a good sensor, and as long as you take care of your lenses, they hold their value very well. I tried shooting my kids' concerts and sporting events with cheap lenses before, and it was a frustrating experience - f/5.6 was just too slow in a dimly lit gym or auditorium, and at the time I was using a D70, which didn't perform very well above ISO 400. That's when I started investing in good f/2.8 lenses, and I've never regretted that decision. I've owned several very nice lenses, used them as needed, and then sold them for what I paid for them on ebay (sometimes even made a profit). I still have the 70-200mm f/2.8VR and the 24-70 f/2.8, and those are my two I use most often.
As for photographic subjects, I shoot just about everything. From a practical standpoint, my kids are the main reason I've kept my interest in photography. Their sporting events, concerts, birthday parties, and even everyday activities around the house provide me with an endless supply of things to take photos of. Aside from my kids, I also like landscape photography, macro (I love getting in close and seeing things in a way you can't normally see with your eyes), and wildlife.