Acutance, there's a certain benefit to learning the nuts and bolts of a basic camera before going for the bells and whistles camera. I am the happy user of a four year old 60D, now used as a general use and wildlife camera. For astrophotography, landscape photography, other low light/high resolution photography, I am using the 6D. But that is basically a big-sensor version of the 60D - better low light performance but few gew-gaws. Because I am an old-timer who started out on an all manual film camera, I still tend to shoot manual exposure when not in a huge rush, and still shoot my landscapes and naturally the macros on manual focus.
I like tripods and have splurged to the extent that I have three, for three different situations (very heavy 8# tripod with geared head for architecture, astrophotography, and macro; general use 5.5# tripod with heavy-duty ball head, used for long lenses; very light 3# and somewhat short tripod with small ball head for lightweight kit and mid to wide focal length landscape work - this is the one I hike with when doing fast hikes. Also, each camera has its own L bracket and every lens that has a tripod ring has its own lens plate.