Don't get me wrong, I loved my sony. It was a great camera to learn on. But I began to be frustrated with not having control over settings. I started by setting my budget. I then solicited advice from everyone. And even more important, I listened to it! I read reviews. I looked at specs and then had help interpreting them.
I then narrowed it down to two contenders: the Nikon d5000 and the Canon T1i. Both are excellent cameras and I couldn't decide. As my last step I went to the store and played with both. In the end I decided on the Nikon. It felt better in my hand and I loved the movable lcd screen.
I've had it for less then a week and have taken over 300 pictures. I am on a steep learning curve and there's so much I don't know. And then there's the stuff I don't know I don't know. but I'm having fun!