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Image quality would be very similar, but I'd pick the D90 because of the built in lens/focus motor. That opens up a whole new world of lenses (albeit older ones) that you can use. Add to that a wireless lighting system and better controls/visual status screen on top and it's a no brainer for me. If you can wait, there is rumor that there will be a replacement D90 (D95/D7000/D8000) that will arrive in the next few weeks. It's supposed to have a metal body, a better focus system, 14-16MP, 4-6 frames/sec, Full 1080p video, and better low light performance.
 

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Yea, the built-in motor on the 90 is a plus and I can't imagine living without the little LCD status screen on top of the camera. If you look around, you can find some good deals on the D90. There was one at Amazon a few weeks ago and after selling the included lens on EBay, the body was cheaper than a D5000 body. The LCD on the 90 is also nicer than the 5000...I think the swivel aspect of the 5000 LCD is kind of a gimmick. It's not worth the smaller size and lower res.
 
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