I too was looking at the EXIF. The D300 EXIF says f5.6, 1/500s, ISO 400 and the D7000 EXIF says f8, 1/1000s, ISO 200. This doesn't make sense to me. It seems the D300 shot was made 3 stops brighter exposure than the D7000. How can that be? Adjustments in post?
I would also think that an f5.6 (fully open aperture) versus f8 is an unfair comparison. So is 1/500s versus 1/1000s (including when handheld).
I do agree that higher pixel density would bias the D7000 to a sharper image.