The D40x is an excellent consumer camera. You need to be aware that the camera you choose is half the equation the lens you use are central to the quality of the end result.
I don't know how much you know about lens types, but basically if you just starting out I'd recommend going with the kit lens available rather than be talked into buying a couple of lens; spending some time finding out what it can do and can't do will help in planning what your next lens purchase will be.
The D40x is a good camera. I currently own one. There is a downside. Nikon do a large range of lenses which are compatable with their camera bodies, except for some reason with the D40x in many cases.
There is also a problem with the Auto focus on the supplied lenses. It breaks really easily (normally just as the warranty runs out in my case ). There are numerous sites if you google Nikon D40x auto focus problems (or a search string to that effect) which will give you information on this little snippet. Again I only know about it because it has happened to me.
Nice camera but I wish I had researched it a bit more on the net. I would have saved a bit more and gone for the D80 with what I now know.
Canon range are also very impressive and the lenses are very good as well. I have a Canon 400D and it really is a brilliant bit of kit and I have had some great results when using it on varying subjects; Portrait, sporting events, landscape etc.
I've got a Nikon D5000 and I must say it is the utter nuts. I got a package deal from Pixmania with a decent lens and a case etc. It is easy to use, even the missus who has trouble operating anything more complex than a microwave, can use it.
Here is a random selection of phots I have taken with it: