My very first digital camera was the Nikon D70. After owning it for a while, I moved up to the D300. Both of these I used for underwater photography.
I then made the big move to full frame and bought a used D700, which I love and am still using. It's been my workhorse camera for years. My three main lenses are the 16-35, the 35-70 and the 70-300. I don't understand why you call the 35-70 a turkey and don't seem to like it. I bought it because I didn't want the weight of the 24-70 and after I read that it was Nikon's top professional mid-range zoom for quite a while. It's weird in that it uses push-pull to zoom, but it's very well built and its widest aperture is f/2.8. I get good images from it, IMHO.
I then bought the M9 after deciding to venture into the Leica digital world and the Fuji X Pro1, both of which are smaller and lighter than my D700. However, I use the D700 more than the M9 and the Fuji X Pro1. It's that good of a camera.