Welcome to the forum Gravion,
I would suggest using P mode and see what the camera setting are, this will give you a base line for your style of shooting. Anything is a monster if you don't know how to drive it, the D7000 has many functions that makes it easy and quick to use.
At long focal lengths without VR you will need a pretty fast speed unless you have an extreme steady hand if shooting hand held. I also have the 70-300mm Af lens which would not work on my D40X but I'm going to give it a try in a few hours on surf shooting and hopefully not get to much camera shake.
To use the camera to it's full potential I would suggest reading the manual section by section and go to the menu you are reading in the camera. Look at the tutorials on this site for settings for different shooting types. This link, although not to may responses may help you with basic setting for the D7000.