D40 might not be old tech, per se, but it's an old tech by the standards of beginner kit today - haven't looked for awhile, but compared to, say, D3100, D40 doesn't do video, 6.1mp compared to 14mp, no HDMI connection, etc. You and I know that, all things considered, if you took one of each brand new straight out of the box and gave them to someone who's new to shooting, there wouldn't be much to choose between the shots either of them take, but people do get caught up by the numbers (I remember taking mine to work to take some pictures after, and every single person who expressed an interest asked what megapix it was - without exception, every single one was disappointed when I said 6.1 and thought their 8/10/12 MP phones/compacts would take better pictures ).
I don't have a problem with spray and pray (never heard that expression before! ) as long as you learn from it - when I got D40 I was doing a bit of reporting on motocross and largely just used it as a big point and shoot, but over time, if I was disappointed with how some shots came out, I learned how to set it manually, rather than relying on the auto stuff, but I still subscribed to the "take hundreds and a percentage will come out great" philosophy. Now, unless I'm spending time somewhere where it goes from light to dark and back a lot, I'll pick the speed and aperture myself.