My personal opinion - Canon.
You seem to be worried that it costs a bit more than the Sony. If this is the main issue, then why not go for a slightly lower end DSLR from Canon. If it is your first DSLR then im sure other models (500D, 550D, even 1100D) would be great cameras to start off with. I have used the 550D and it was more than enough camera for a complete beginner.
Canon and Nikon are the two 'big-guns' in DSLR photography. As such, no matter how much people don't like it, they are the better choice, especially for a beginner. Second hand lenses and accessories will be more widely available, and at cheaper prices. There will also be more help from others as they are more popular. They have also been around a long time, and have the advantage of experience over Sony.
However, having said all this, either camera i'm sure would be an excellent choice.
Obviously this is just my opinion. But if i was in your blacklisted_site i'd be willing to go lower end for a bigger brand.