I have an F2A, and of all my Nikons, I must admit it is my favorite. Note however that with the motor drive attatched (MD2) it weighs as much as a Volkswagon. As far as overall cost with lenses, Nikon will be less expensive in the long run. Have you thought of what lenses you wish to get? What type of pictures will you be shooting? If you plan on purchasing several lenses, you might want to factor in the added cost to your purchase. The only two Nikon lenses I have ever had a problem with were the 35mm series E which fell apart, and the 18-70 DX kit lens that came with a D70 I purchased. The cheap construction and poor optical quality of that lens was very unlike other Nikon lens I have ever seen. Nikon built its optical reputation with its manual focus lenses. All of my other Nikon glass produce outstanding results.