Here in the UK, the D5000's launch price is about 100GBP higher than the current street price of the D90. Warehouse Express lists the D90 body only at £619, D5000 at £719. OK, there's a memory card & bag with the D5000, but is that and the swivel screen worth it against the cost and the stuff you lose? Even Jessops, known for sticking to RRPs, has the D90 at 70GBP less than the D5000.
It's going to have to come down in price very quickly to sell here.
#2. "RE: Why so expensive?" In response to Reply # 1
Launch price - the only 'official Nikon' price I recall seeing for anything - for the D5000 is 20GBP more than the D90 was. I just looked up the D60 launch price, which was 270GBP less than the D5000. These differences are understandable, to some extent, due to the hammering our exchange rate has taken recently. And yes, as always, most stores are sticking to that price for pre-ordering. But just to get level with the current D90 street price, the D5000 is going to have to lose 100GBP, 14% of its launch price. To get to a point where it looks like good value against the D90, how much more does it need to lose? To get to midway between D60 and D90, it needs to lose a total of 250GBP. That's 35% of its launch price. After 15 months, the D60 is not down that far. The D40, which must now be towards the end of its run, is now down by 40% of launch price. I just think the price here is starting way too high.
#3. "RE: Why so expensive?" In response to Reply # 2
Here in the US the D5000 launch price is less than the D90 launch price by about $270 USD. The D90 is listed as $999 and the D5000 is listed at $729 according to NikonUSA's website.
It seems in the UK they have a different pricing scheme than in the US but from what I can see the D5000 is right inline with the launch price of the D50/D40x and D60. My D50 when I got it new 3 or 4 years ago can't remember exactly I paid $999 for a two lens kit package.