Disagree that entry level users are all green boxers though. The reason I use a 550D is that it fits my budget.
not all but the majority, from my own experience.
it´s the ENTRY level market. that is where most people start with a DSLR system.
i have many friends who use a P&S camera for years and they know NOTHING about aperture, dof, dynamic range etc.
a friend who bought the 600D, after my advice, asked me after 3 weeks where the ZOOM button is. and he is no dumbass.. he is a chemical engineer. i told him he has to ZOOM manually by rotating a ring on the lens. all i got in response was "mhm...my P&S can do that with the click on a button".
i have told him a dozend times that MP are not the all important factor for good images.
really i can´t count how often i expained image quality to him... still when we talk about new cameras, i know he will say at one point "but camera xy has more MP, must be better then, not?".
it is in peoples heads and it´s hard to get that out.
my friend is still learning and i will get it into his head.. but that´s the reality in the mass consumer market.
so i guess nikon has a good stand marketing wise.