The Canon vs. Nikon battle tends to be fought on the premise that even though both are superb camera manufacturers, they each have defining features that make them more desirable, period. There are people who stick with Canon because "Nikon's menus are too hard to read" and people who use only Nikon because "Canons aren't as feature-rich."
So I have a Nikon E8700 and I'm looking at a D40, but lately I've been using almost predominantly Canon - Canon point-and-shoots, that is.
So this picture was taken with a 6 second shutter time and looks great. The lighting and color were near perfect coming right off the camera; the only thing that really needed done was minor contrast enhancement to correct light overflow (six seconds of light from a sodium-compound-based streetlight would cause significant glare with any camera).
This was a 2-second shutter and was barely tweaked. In fact, I tend to have to tweak my daylight photos A LOT more than my nighttime ones. I think it has a lot to do with how much easier it can be to control the lighting at night. Not only can I choose an exposure time that makes for a completely different picture, but the light is minimal enough to begin with that if I see a scene that looks good to my eye, it will be very easy to make it look like that to my camera.
Anyway, just an update. I really like this Canon PowerShot A550. 7.1 megapixels, which is lower resolution than my Nikon E8700, but with half the zoom and a smaller fstop range and focal range - in fact, smaller everything...but I love it for day to day shooting. It isn't even the most recent model; it's several years old.
Time for more nightshot editing. :)