Marty4650: The title of your article has very little to do with the content.
I will deal with each question separately. As far as which camera (the content of your post) then that is entirely up to you. Both are very nice cameras and both have very similar capabilities. Just select whichever one serves your needs best. I don't think you can go wrong with either one.
As far as the question in your title goes... the longer lens would be better for portraits and closeups. The best focal lengths for portraits tend to be between 50mm and 90mm (on an APSC camera, which both your choices are). Also, a longer lens allows you to take closeups from farther way, which can be useful when taking closeups of things that don't like a lens in their face. Like animals, birds, insects, or children.
But the 18-55mm is a very useful lens, and is great for everything else. So I say, get both.
My question for you is....why did you make this an "article" rather than a post in the Beginner's Forum?
I just recently purchased a D5100 and am new to photography. I'd like to dig into your comment "The best focal lengths for portraits tend to be between 50mm and 90mm ". Why exactly is that so? Do different focal lengths affect image characteristics in any way apart from of course zooming in and out?