I would recommend the T4i simply for the much higher quality focus system
Agreed! The T4i is a much better camera than the T3i because of the focus system. It has the same auto focus as the 60D - much, much better than the T3i.
The other features are also nice - touch screen LCD, face tracking auto focus, auto focus during video with the STM lenses. I replaced my camcorder with the T4i with the auto focus. Not great, but good enough for many things.
Your price comparison up top is not apples-to-apples. The 18-135 STM is a much better - and more expensive - lens than the 18-55. It is a great lens for a beginner.
Sop the T4i body is about $600 new, around $950 with the lens. Although I saw it elsewhere at $900 today.
I am a 20+ year pro. I have owned the T4i with 18-135, 1DX, and 5DIII this year, as well as a Nikon D3200, NEX 7, NEX 5n.
I could use the T4i quite happily for most of my work, except for high ISO/low light - at 6400 ISO or above. I bought a 5DIII for event work for those cases. Otherwise the T4i is great camera, and the 18-135 is the **only** non-L lens I have used in many years.
The net cost to own a T4i for 1 year might be about $100 to $125 max. I know someone who recently sold a T3i body on Craigslist for $600, though $500 is more reasonable.
I'd say go for the T4i and don't look back! Your call on the 18-55 versus the 18-135 STM, although the latter is a great lens.