The first Nikon I had was when I convinced my father into buying me a second-hand Nikkormat. I had to have the camera replaced because it was faulty. The replacement was a Canon A-1.
I dreamed of owning a Nikon. By a stroke of luck, someone who worked with my Dad had an old Nikon F Photomic and a 55mm f/1.2 Nikkor which was lying unused. He offered to sell it to us for what seemed to me a very good price.
I used the Nikon F for many years until it went faulty and the cost of repairing it was higher than buying a new camera. For short while I owned the F50, replaced it with an F70, and now I own an F100 as well as a D80, which I acquired early this year.
I waited to buy my first DSLR because I felt that the price/performance ratio just wasn't right. An SLR lasted you for years, and all you did was buy lenses. DSLRs become obsolete in two years, and there is enormous psychological pressure to upgrade, just like your laptop, or your PC.