I bought a Canon EOS 1000D as my starter, because I found a very good offer with two lenses, 18-55mm and 75-300mm at what looks to be about 2/3 the price of a D5000 with one.
I don't have a use for the movie feature or a tiltable LCD screen (to be honest I consider that one a minus as it's too likely to break) which looks like the main differences, so, for me, the Canon gave by far the best bang for the buck.
Instead of looking at a specific camera, try making a list of things you'd like it to do first, then try to find the camera that best fits the requirements.
Reductionist and proud of it.
Being ignorant is not so much a shame, as being unwilling to learn. Benjamin Franklin
Chase after the truth like all hell and you'll free yourself, even though you never touch its coat tails. Clarence Darrow
A person who won't read has no advantage over one who can't read. Mark Twain