I was asked which I'd recommend, the Nikon D3200 or the Sony NEX5N? I said that you can't go wrong with either choice, but, me personally, I no longer own a DSLR simply for the sake of size and weight.
In reality the Nikon is probably a slightly better camera than the Sony. Slightly. And, overall, Nikon has better lenses. But in practical terms, real world terms, there is not enough of a difference to make a difference.
So, then, what is the big difference between these two cameras? Well, one is a DSLR and the other is a compact interchangeable-lens. One is bigger and heavier, the other is smaller and lighter.
Instead of a DSLR (I used to have a Pentax K-30 until a couple months ago), I now use a Sigma DP2 Merrill and a Samsung NX200. These cameras are compact. The Sigma will fit into a large pocket, and the Samsung fits into a very small camera bag. Because they're smaller and lighter, they're more pleasant to carry around. And because they are more pleasant to carry, I have them with me more often. And because I have them more often, I use them more.
Henri Cartier-Bresson said, "You're first 10,000 photographs are your worst." I like to add that your next 10,000 photographs are your second worst. There is value in using a camera frequently, and compact cameras make it easier to do that.
So even though the Nikon D3200 is probably a better overall camera than the Sony NEX5N, I would choose the Sony camera just simply because it would get used more.