Originally Posted by rakunSA
I would love to get the d7000 but its just way too hard to find and kind of out of my budget. I think I'm set on a used D90 as I can get the body + 18-105 VR lens for around $800. I used my friends D90 today and love the on hand controls. Even though it's older, I find it more pleasant to use lol.
Thanks for the input guys! rep to all!
$800 in my opinion is overpriced for the D90 these days. The only
reason to buy a D90 over the D5100 is if you're shooting old AF lenses that absolutely need the in-body AF-motor, at least in my opinion. Yes, the ergonomics might be better for some people on the D90, but that is all personal preference. The reasons why the D5100 better is is much more extensive: the fantastic 16 MP sensor (yes, I know the resolution isn't that big of a deal, but the noise characteristics of the D5100 blow the D90 out of the water), much improved Live View along with the swivel screen (one of the things I miss the most from my D5000 is the swivel screen, but the crappy LV on the last-gen Nikons will not be missed), improved functionality of auto dynamic range (a very nice feature), vastly improved video quality, as well as improved audio for video.
If you absolutely cannot stand the ergonomics of the D5100, then you should probably save up for the D7000. Yes, it is significantly more expensive than the D90, but improvements over the D90 are even more noticeable than in the D5100. I have a D7000, and I absolutely love it. Unless it breaks or I have an opportunity to go full-frame for cheap, I'm not getting rid of it anytime soon.
And I agree with what Sub said. If you're feeling that the D5100 is nothing but a glorified point-and-shoot, then you probably deserve to be shooting an actual point and shoot. I shot a D5000 for a long time, which has very similar control points to the D5100, and I never felt like it was a hassle to change settings on the fly. I have tons of great photos that I took with it, and I don't think a mere point and shoot could have created those same images.