"Frankly put, if frame rate or depth of buffer aren't important to you, the D7000 wins."
I agree 100%, and I would argue that the buffer is an issue for very few people. You can shoot 10 continuous frames in Raw on a D7000 before the buffer gives up. Most of my action shots are no more than 5-6 max. You can program a button to substitute for AF-ON. Both the D7000 and D7100 are very well built (mostly magnesium), so they're very durable.
The other "handling"/form factor differences are purely personal preference, which you can get over/adapt to, unless you are alternating between the D7000/D7100 and a D800/D4.