''Thanks! I will check the D700 out too. It’s the Case Air that I think will help most! I simply can't alter anything on manual. I can't press buttons or turn command wheels!!''
I have two D700's and classifying them as Navy ships, they would rate as heavy cruisers. They're excellent cameras, heavy though and built like tanks, they weigh 1,085g with battery and card, (no lens). Weight may be a concern for you, and they're more a manual camera requiring both hands moving dials and pushing buttons.
I started out in digital with a D5500 which can be set to an Auto mode, and a bunch of effects/scenes. Lets see how your D5000 compares and work with what you already have. With 12MP on a DX sensor, image quality should be excellent as long as you don't crop too heavy or try and print massive murals. Looking at a review of the D5000, it looks like you can set everything for auto and shoot. The only real drawback I've seen is it doesn't auto focus in poor light very well without it's assist lamp which may be a concern at longer distances. You'll probably want to stay with Nikkor's DX VR lens series with AF motor in lens set to auto. It's compose, focus and shoot with very little messing around with anything else once it's set.
What you have is a good basic camera for stills shots, (the video feature is described as ''crummy'', but oh-well). It's quiet so you won't disturb others even in a museum or library and it takes a bunch of good lenses giving you many shooting options. Speaking of lenses, the standard kit lens I got with my D5500, (18-55mm VR DX) produces better than expected images, and it just gets better from there. In short, your D5000 should get you out and give you a satisfying hobby you can grow with. If you want to step up later to something with more MP's and better Dynamic Range any of the D7000 series should fit your needs, still having full auto capability you require without being overly heavy.
You can open a new world for yourself here with what you have and a little help from your friends.