I started with a Canon AE1 Program (we won't go further back in time
. My First Digicam was a Nikon 995. My Current DSLR is Canon Rebel XT.
At the time I bought the Rebel XT in 2005 things were slower, simpler and less diverse. Some indicated the Rebel was slightly superior in image quality to the semi-equivalent Nikon. In my case the fact that it came with high quality jpeg+raw instead of basic jpeg and the included DPP pro tipped the balance for me in favor of Canon. I always read reviews both before and after my purchases. It is both research and window shopping.
In any case perhaps it is just me but I have noticed new trends in the reviews of DSLR. Nikons seem to have an indicated increase in IQ, parity or superior then the loosely equivalent Canon? Flash and metering accuracy were always a strength of the Nikons. With the Advent of the D5000 you can get High quality Jpeg and Raw. Yay
Still no free Raw editor. Boo.
The other things I have noticed is the reviews of recent Canon's, in particular, the 500D seem to be all over the map. Some indicating it is a stellar camera every much a budget 50D as the D5000 is a budget D90. Others lament the 500D's having IQ issues even marking it down to being poorer then its predecessors. On those knocking the 500D they point to 15 megpixal being just too much for an APC sized sensor, but then their comparing it to mostly 12 megapixel apc models generally.
Some reviewers use jpegs primarily in their testing, Others Raw. There are of course pros and cons to both. I would argue that the whole point of a DSLR is to have the option if hitting up the Digital negative for the best quality picture (at least as an option) and JPEGS are the quick and dirty immediate gratification path. I do not see how you can fairly test a camera with out looking at both.
I remember Pentax reviews basically indicating that if you were willing to go Raw only you could get great results. That is important information.
Anyway I was wondering what others thought. Both of the 500D vs. D5000, and of the state of the major review sites including this one in the Nikon vs. Canon IQ and such. Of course if your an existing customer of one of the other you not only have some potential bias but you likely have a vested interest in equipment and operations that might bind you to your existing Camera brand.