It's hard to beat the value-for-money of the Nikon 18-135mm lens, if you get it as part of a Nikon kit. (The kit saves you about $100 over buying the D80 body and the lens separately.).
1. Nikon 18-200mm VR. Wide range, stabilized, but not exactly a budget lens. May compromise optical quality somewhat to achieve the wide range..
2. Tamron 17-50mm constant f/2.8 or Sigma 18-50mm constant f/2.8 "macro" (for improved available light shooting ability)..
Note that the Tamron would not autofocus on a D40X body, although I believe there is a new revision of the Sigma that would..
Your best bet is probably to go with the 18-135 as part of the kit. That minimizes your up-front cost for a fairly decent lens, and if you get an "overlapping" lens later, you can always keep the 18-135 as a spare or sell it on the used market...
There's a very similar thread running in the Nikon SLR Lens forum, you probably want to have a look at it:.
All I can say in response to your question is already in that thread .
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Sounds like the 18-135 is your best bet as you seem to want something with some telephoto..
Other options (which will fit either D40x or D80).
Nikon 18-70Sigma 17-70 f2.8-4.5 HSM (must be HSM model for D40x).
Nikon 18-55 plus 55-200 telezoom - Personally I do not like this combination. The 18-55 3x zoom is too limiting as walk around lens..
You have enough spare pixels on the D80 to crop a 200mm equivalent shot out of the long end of the 18-135..
*Nikon* D Eighty + Fifty - Other equipment in Profile.
Re>The D80 Kit comes packaged with the 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6G ED-IF AF-S DX lens, and it seems like a good starter lens. <.
Yes, it would be an excellent choice..
And don't be afraid to buy the D40x. It's an excellent camera and you'll be able to take great photographs with it, if the budget won't stretch to the D80..
Personally, I'd go for the D80 Kit. It gives you an excellent starter lens. Other important advantage: you're not (as you would be with the D40/D40x) limited to AF-S lenses and could take advantage of the huge supply of used, relatively cheap and often very good non AF-S lenses out there. Could save you quite a bit of money in the longer run!There's no problem so big that you can't run away from it!..
If you go the D80 route, consider exploring the world of prime lenses. For around $100 you can get a 50mm 1.8 lens that does incredible portraits (sharp with nice blur) in natural light - something I'm sure everyone who owns any camera does...