This is probably a question that only I can answer, but I fear I lack the experience. It is relatively harder to source Atmel parts where I live. For instance, I recently had to order the AT Mega 128L from the USA because it was not available in my country (the 5V version Mega 128 was there, though). The PICs are more widely available. They also seem to be cheaper here.
Up until now, I've only had experience with just AVRs. Not because I prefer them or anything but I was/am a beginner and all the research I did led me to think that it doesn't really matter when you're starting out. So I bought a AVR ISP MKII and Mega 168 and learned to program on it.
The other thing that really attracts me towards the PICs is a massively cheaper debugger. The PICKit 3, it seems, has in-circuit-debugging and the AVR ISP MKII that I own does not. I suppose I could purchase the AVR Dragon, but I have heard it has its own problems. And the AVR JTAG ICE MKII is $300. I was considering this, but then I started thinking about purchasing a PICKit 3.
Finally, I feel that I should know how to program on both platforms. I think this would be quite beneficial because I would be able to choose a controller best suited for the job.
My main requirements, at the moment, are really only that it should have
- 3.3V input voltage
- 50 or so I/O pins (I think 64-pin TQFP would be great)
Would you folks tend to agree that a PIC would be better option because of the availability, price and the cheaper debugger?