Does anyone remember the film days, when a new camera model was introduced every five years or more? Now anything over a year and people are freaking out. I started on the fantastic manual Pentax K1000 which had about a 20 year production run (and I am pretty sure is the best selling camera model of all time).
I never had a really nice camera until mane my 3mp fuji finepix. And that was a world of difference.
OK, the t5i does seem unnecessary - why not stick with t4i? But the SL1 I think is great and I am glad they offer it body only. Not for use with large lenses, but with a 20mm Voigtlander pancake for the ultimate quality point and shoot. If I can save up, I may go this route.
the t5i is nothing but a marketing name, but I think the other is still to big. there is a reason slrs are big and that is ergonomics and inertia.
Funny how people think 18MP is not enough in an entry level crop sensor camera, yet I see very few complaints about the flagship full frame pro camera 1DX being only 18MP. The rebel line is entry level - do you really think its users are making 40x60 inch enlargements? (I work at a pro lab and I am virtually certain the SL1 and t5i will make very nice enlargements up to 24x36 inches - how many people need more?).
I'm not concerned about megapixels, but I do crop into my images often. if it is a moving target, it is easier to compose in post. that's where I find megapixels come in handy.
As for AFMA, I use a 5D2, I have large aperture lenses, and I have never had a need for AFMA. Plus, no one is using large aperture lenses on these cameras and it would just be another confusing menu item. I teach beginning photo classes at my lab and trust me, there are way too many menu options already - the average person does not want and will never use all those settings.
the best value lens for beginners is the 50mm f1.8. One hundred bucks and you get great images and depth of field. afma would havebeenimportant to me then ( when I started) as it is to me today.