I don't have the Nokia N96 but from what I heard, it's not any better than the popular Nokia N95.
I have the Nokia 5800 XpressMusic. While it's true that it's Nokia's 1st touchscreen device and many said it's a device to test the market, I would say it is worth every dollar I paid for. You can read some of the user reviews about the phone
. Scroll down the page, there is a drop down next to the word "Browse", select "Review".
PROS: Good battery life, media key (1 clicks to get to music, video, share, internet browser from anywhere of the screen), side keyguard, ability to download & use a lot of themes, fullscreen wallpaper, cheap compare to other smartphones.
CONS: Inconsistent interface (some need 2 clicks, some can be done with just one click), touchscreen not as sensitive as the iPhone, poor camera quality, no writing aids in QWERTY mode, lack of 3rd party applications.