(Original post by evening sunrise)
Thanks for the low down on the cameras. We have 2 D5000s, 1 D90, 1 D7000 and a D300S (although that will go when its replacement is announced) and hence are familiar with their specifications and capabilities.
If your going to post then factual correctness is important, firstly there is no such thing as weather sealing, it is marketing spin, there is environmental sealing, this is claimed for metal bodies, this is because the use of metal dictates the use of gaskets, the environmental performance envelope limits as stated in the manuals is exactly the same for the D5000 as it is for the D300S, i.e. humidity, temperature, and Do Not Get It Wet. Hence the D90 does not have and is not claimed to have environmental sealing.
The absence of an autofocus motor in the D5000 is indeed an asset keeping the body small, and therefore very suitable for certain types of photography. Of the umpteen lenses we have here only one requires an in body motor, which is my 200 2.8. Sigma and Tamron also now make many lenses that do not require an internal body motor, the notable exception being Tokina, but not of interest because 11-16 is too limited and 2.8 is not needed at that limited focal length range. You can mount any F mount lense on a D5000, but of course you have to use manual focus on the older lenses but..........
Screw drive is noisy, again not ideal for many forms of photography and slow unless the body motor has significant umph. Which is why I mount that 200 2.8 on the D300S, rather than the D90 or D7000. So for anyone starting out today I advise ignoring the presence of an in body motor or not, there are enough good quality SWM, HSM and USD lenses out there to drain their bank account for decades to come, if they get really flush they can always go Leica or Zeiss which are manual focus whatever body. Whether the poster should wait for the K-Z is not something I can endorse or refute, but the D3200 and D7100 will be out this year as Nikon will have moved on from the D7000 sensor, awsome though it is in terms of dynamic range at <= ISO 400.
I suggest however that you reply to the Op stating the features that suit their intended photography covering things such as buffer size, focus system, bracketing range, FPS, and numerous others related to the posters intended use and of course budget.
I shot Minolta SLRs from 1971 until 2007, but alas they are no more, and as a protest at their demise I switched to Nikon and gave away, to my dad, both bodies and all the lenses and teleconverters. I suspect I am about to become committed to Nikon for life, primarily as my 300 2.8 VR and aspherical 2 x converter are due to arrive in the next two weeks, and glass is what manfuacturers use to keep you loyal, a critical point as manufacturers leapfrog each other in terms of sensors and bodies
. I cannot wait to stick a Nikon V1, with its 2.7 crop factor behind that set-up, and my Sigma 150-500 OS, loose head tripod rather than handheld of course