I love this camera. We totally upgraded from a little crappy digital camera to this one when we had our second son. I am so glad we did. The quality of the photos are amazing!
I bought this camera after wanting to get a DSLR for the longest time. The uses I get out of it are general photography and I have been using it a lot more since working at ChickAdvisor haha.
It's a great starter camera with potential to grow advance with it. I didn't want to get the 3000 because its a bit more limiting for upgrading but I didn't want the bulk of the D90. So I opted for the middle ground which was the 5000. One great aspect of the 5000 is you can do HD movies with it also (and they do look pretty good for quality). Comes with a18-55mm lens (standard kit) and a great feature about this is the swivel screen (lets you take photos at odd angles easily).
I generally shoot in manual or apeture priority modes but for some starting off the auto does work for what you need it for. I don't recommend it to anyone who wants a basic camera since there's plenty of great point and shoots that are much more compact and user friendly. I only recommend DSLRs to those who want to get into photography and learn the different techniques involved beyond auto mode.
I think the Canon Nikon are pretty much on point with one another. I chose the Nikon only because I thought their line of lens and lightning accessories was a tad more extensive. General tips - don't buy based on megapixels. Speed, weight, grip comfortability, general interface and layout are the things you should invest more time into looking at. Always go to a store and try it out!
These reviews are the subjective opinions of ChickAdvisor members and not of ChickAdvisor Inc.