Hi Alan, if it reassures you, I think the D80's metering, and Nikon's metering in general is one of the best in the industry. Have a look at our D80 Gallery images
and they look fine - none taken with exposure compensation.
And if it's any consolation, models like the Canon 400D / XTi appear to have an underexposure issue which has you applying positive compensation to almost any image.
The moral? No camera is perfect, but the D80 is one of the better models out there and I'm sure you won't be disappointed. No camera gets it right all the time though, but it's easy to dial in a bit of compensation as and when required.