The Coolpix 800 was my first digital camera, bought brand new in December 1999. I still have it (I just snapped the photo below).
Back then, just before the turn of the millennium, this 2.1 megapixel compact camera cost more than a 12 megapixel DSLR today (March 2009).
Being used to Nikon F4's and other pro Nikon SLR bodies, the Coolpix 800 was a toy - but a serious one. It was one of the first affordable, "high-quality" digital cameras. I learned a lot using my Coolpix 800, which was later upgraded to a Coolpix 990, another Nikon classic. In capable hands, these cameras could produce some pretty good photos.
According to dpreview.com: "The Coolpix 800 shares its CCD and internal image processing algorithms with the Coolpix 950 and it shows.. Image Quality is very good, some slight noise but very good definition, excellent exposure and white balance... In fact many is the time you point the camera and press the shutter release half expecting a bad shot only to be "impressed once more" by what the Coolpix 800 turns out."