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Is there any significant difference between Nikon and Canon?

I have recently bought a Nikon D5100 and a Nikon 18-135mm lens. This is my first DSLR and am very happy with it.

I wanted to know what are the striking differences between Nikon and Canon on a broader perspective. For example, something which is only possible with a Canon DSLR or a Nikon DSLR (considering that both have a similar range of lenses). If any such difference exists, why is the other brand not providing it? Also, what are the features that make them unique among various other brands?

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