On being asked the Canon vs. Nikon question

Someone asked me tonight whether they should buy the Canon EOS 400D or the Nikon D80. The only answer I could honestly give was "choose whichever one feels best in your hands". Choose the one whose control layout falls under your fingers. Choose the one that feels right. Choose the one you like better.

Don't choose the one you think you "ought to" get. Forget the tech specs - the differences between the two cameras won't be noticeable to a beginning DSLR user. In any case, once you start to be truly impacted by the limitations of these cameras, you won't be wishing for the other brand's entry level model. You'll be wishing for the 40D or the D300.

Just choose the one that you intuitively feel you can live with well enough to pick it up and fire it 30-40,000 times in the next twelve months.