I couldn't be happier with the D7000. That said, there are a few things that the D5200 has that the 7k doesn't. Unless one of those features is a big deal to you, I'd recommend buying a little more than you need and growing into it. Cheaper in the long run than buying a little less and then buying a little more later on. (Speaking from personal experience.)
From what are you upgrading? I had the same dilemma in Dec when I upgraded from the D50. The first thing the sales person asked me was this.
The 7k is bigger than the 5200. The 7k has more direct controls than the 5200. I did not think this was a big issue till this weekend when I helped a friend with his 3200 and had to use the menu's. What a schlep.
I am happy with my 7k and are fine with the 16 mega pixels. I do not sell billboard size photo's. It is just for me, the family and the friends so the 24 does not matter to me.
"AF (non-AF-S)" was not a issue to me as I don't have any but it is something to consider if you do have them and use them.
What are you using right now? The D5200 and D7000 are entirely different beasts. Yes, they share the same AF system, and the D5200 has more pixels, but the D7000 has all of its key controls at your fingertips, has a more robust body, dual card slots, takes AF lenses, can control external flashes via CLS from the on-board flash and has a battery grip available for it.
I was intrigued by the option of 24MP, but after handling a D5200, I decided to pass on buying one and stick with both of my D7000s.
The D7000 is just over two years old which is long in the tooth by current measures, but it is and will remain one hell of a camera for several years to come.
Bill - if your main body is currently still a D300 (that's what is listed in your equipment profile), you won't be happy with the consumer/plasticy D5200 or its significantly smaller physical size. The D7000, on the other hand, remains a big resolution, dynamic range and image quality upgrade from the D300. Some people, purely based on technical specs, might feel that the D5200 is just as much of an upgrade too, but the handling differences, absence of external controls, and much cheaper build quality compared to the D300 won't please you IMO.
The 16mp resolution of the D7000 is astonishingly good. The image processing engine in the D5200 may be based on the same EXPEED CPU, but the output of the D7000 is visually better IMO. Add the D300-like handling of the D7000 and I think the decision is easy.
#12. "RE: D7000 or D5200" In response to Reply # 10
San Diego, US
Hi, Bill. Congratulations on acquiring the new Nikon D7000. For several months, I have been using the menu-driven Nikon D5000 and Nikon D5100 which became cumbersome to use and frustrating at times when I would miss certain shots because I was fumbling through the menus. I just got my Nikon D7000 recently, and as soon as I started using it, I was thrilled at the easy access to knobs and buttons for controlling camera settings. I wish I went with the Nikon D7000 right away.