In all, the Nikon D5000 was a joy to use during our tests. The layout and controls were easy to use and the camera captured excellent images. Another major benefit of the D5000 is its ability to capture HD videos, even if those capabilities are limited to 720p. Although no DSLR today is going to fully rival the recording capabilities of a full-fledged digital camcorder, the D5000 offers respectable video capabilities for a DSLR.
We wished the D5000 would have had a higher resolution display, but it's generally a trade-off between high-resolution and an articulating screen currently. There are a number of shooting situations in which the ability to rotate the screen is very useful, so it's easy to make the argument that an articulating display is more valuable to some users than a high-resolution display. At the end of the day, each user must decide which feature—a high resolution screen or an articulating display—is of higher priority.
The D5000's 12.3-megapixel sensor may offer a slightly lower resolution than some of the camera's competitors, but really, most people don't need more than 12.3 megapixels to obtain high quality shots. In addition, it's important to remember that the D5000's burst speed of 4fps trumps many of its competitors' burst speeds.
The D5000 borrows a number of features from a higher-end model in Nikon's range (the D90), but repackages those features in a more affordable form factor. With a current street price of around $750 for the body and the standard kit lens, the D5000 offers DSLR shoppers a good value and a number of high-end features for the money.