I think the first sentence in your quote belongs to the previous paragraph thus:
The single best feature on this camera is the ergonomics. Everything is right where you want it, not buried in a menu bank! It is simple to use. This is a plus whether you are a pro or amateur.
If you have never owned a DSLR this might be a little over your head. Go with the D40x or D80. If you are thinking of upgrading....do it! You won't regret it.
Personally, I would place little credence in the opinion of an individual who believes that if you have never owned a DSLR you may be unable to appreciate good design and ergonomics.
Yes, I am sure the D200 can produce beautiful pictures with JPEG and no post-processing. That's not to say that pictures from any camera can't sometimes benefit from a little help after the event and sometimes it's the very best pictures that you might want to spend more time on.
While some professionals with very specific needs may be able to argue that Nikon is better for "x" and Canon is better for "y" I doubt that the rest of us with much more modest budgets will explore such limits. That's not to say that at the desired price point one may be naturally driven to one manufacturer over the others.