May I wish you a warm welcome to the CameraLabs forum.
I read the reviews just like everyone else (I don't do 'em!) but I think you may be missing out if you don't at least consider cameras from Sony, Panasonic or Olympus. Sony have built very successfully on the Minolta lineage with their Alpha bodies as well as producing a remarkable new system with the NEX line while Panasonic and Olympus are also breaking new ground with micro four-thirds. Olympus has a long history in the camera and optics market and Panasonic have teamed up with Leica to produce some Leica branded lenses, a name still held in some reverence by many including myself.
Talking of lenses, don't think of them as an afterthought. Together with it's large sensor an interchangeable lens is what gives a DSLR or EVIL camera its big advantage and if you have specific requirements then the kit lens that comes with a camera may not be up to the job. Certainly for low light work without a flash a brighter (lower f-number) fixed focal length lens might prove a good investment in conjunction with the kit zoom. Such lenses aren't particularly cheap (e.g. the 20mm f1.7 Lumix G Micro Pancake which has a 35mm camera field of view equivalent to a 40mm lens) but an f/1.7 lens allows about four times as much light through to the sensor as an f/3.5 lens would at the same focal length.
So while a D7000 may well prove to be the camera for you don't forget to have a close look at some of the alternatives. Just to pick a couple from many possible choices the Lumix GF2
or Sony NEX
may not look physically imposing but they are serious bits of kit. Note that I'm not offering these as recommendations and it may be that they won't do the job you want when you start drilling down into the specifications and/or reviews or, indeed, the available lenses. Having, I hope, not confused the issue too much I'll hand over to members who actually have experience with any of the cameras that may fit your criteria...