because they can do better and they know they can. 1080/720 arguments aside, no manual controls is absolutely absurd. Now financially...I can completely understand why they aren't in any rush :)
i hate the t2i. . .i just don't know why. . .too many people have come to me asking about a camera to buy, only to turn to the t2i. . .(and ignoring my D5k recommendations!)
If I was buying my first dslr and I was choosing between the t2i and the d5000...I would definitely choose the t2i.
for about 200$ you get:
-better iso range.
-much better movie controls (in terms of fps)
-bigger screen (although not articulating, although that's a see-saw point)
-dof preview button (again looking at this from the point of a first time dslr buyer, and presumably slr buyer in general, I see this as a useful function)
granted the fps of the t2i is a little slower, but for a first time dslr buyer I can definitely see why the t2i would be more attractive than the d5000, especially without a lens collection to weigh on your mind. People like products that give them the most creative control, and in comparing the two, it really does seem like the t2i affords that more so than the d5000. Not saying the d5000 isn't a great camera, but i can understand the actions of the people you suggested the d5000 to.