1)When I started doing serious photography in high school, yearbook and newspaper, we used Nikon F's. We had a good selection of lenses and processed our own pictures. I liked the feel of the gear, very solid and heavy. They just worked and rewarded our ham-fisted tyro treatment with good pictures. I also hung out at the local newpaper, and all the pros there used Nikon and occasonally let me handle their F2's and long lenses. I acquired a taste for the quality of construction and the sheer "built like a tank" solidness.
2)After high school, I got into video and still photography languished. I started to get back into the hobby seriously early in 1991, and considered Canon, that is until talking to one of my old Pro buddies that had made the move to a big city paper many years before. His paper had switched back to Nikon like many others, because of the Breech lock/mount swap debacle. He recommended that I think long and hard before to committing to Canon. He let me handle his new F4 and I was hooked again.
Granted, all is not rosy at Nikon. The field support that made the Marque the camera to have in the 70 and 80's is less good. (I write this as an outsider looking in, since as an amateur I cannot join NPS), but the gear still works and works well. If the number of pro's using the gear is any indication, a typical White house press conference shows a forest of Nikon black barrel lenses, so they still are a valid choice. But I digress, after all you wanted MY opinion.