made this decision myself and went with the refurbished 500D from cameta. But that being said, from all of my research I found you will never get a hard and fast answer to the Canon vs Nikon question. This may end up being a 50 reply thread and you will be left as stuck as you are now. If you can get a chance to visit a camera store and pick up both to get a feel of the ergonomics and button placement, that can help. It also makes a difference if you have friends/family with a Canon or Nikon DSLR, because that can make borrowing lenses possible (my dad has a Canon telephoto L lens, so this helped push me in that direction). Overall, both seem to be very "beginner" friendly DSLRs that can produce great images if used correctly. In the end, make a choice, don't look back, and make the best of whatever system you end up with. Good luck!