No offense but for an "aspiring" photographer I think you're trying to buy skill. It's not included in the box, no matter which camera you buy. I have a need for a 7D2 because I shoot action, & lots of it every summer but I've done that with several other bodies including one which I still use that shoots 4 FPS. Learn the rules of photography & the inter relation of camera & lens settings before spending big money on a camera that's most likely overkill for athe majority of new DSLR buyers.
Oh, if you have anything to say about my decision please feel free to express yourself, I'm happy to know why. I suppose I have one remaining question, I plan to use the 7D Mark II extensively, it's more durable than the 6D correct?
Durability is different between them in two ways.
1) Expected shutter life
The most aggressively moving part on the camera is the shutter mechanism. This incluces both the focal plane shutter itself, as well as the reflex mirror that has to swing clear of the image path when you take a photo. The cameras have an estimated shutter life and, not to confuse... this is NOT a guarantee... it is an ESTIMATE.
The 6D has an expected shutter life of 100,000 actuations. That's the predicted statistical mean (the middle of the bell-curve). That means that while half the cameras will last longer... the other half wont quite make it to that number. But it gives you a rough idea of how many actuations you'll probably get before you might expected to send in the camera body for service.
The 7D (the original... not the II) had an estimated shutter life of 150,000 actuations. This is better than the 6D and the Rebel bodies. Keep in mind that as a camera optimzied with action photography in mind, it can click away at 8 frames per second. That very rapid moving shutter means there's more stress on it's shutter than a typical DSLR would have, so it needs to be a better shutter to handle that performance.
The 7D II got an improvement. It's shutter has an expected life of 200,000 actuations. Also it can shoot at 10 frames per second (If I'm not mistaken, I think this makes it the fastest APS-C DSLR on the market.) The 1D X can do 12 frames per second, but that's Canon's flagship camera and is also a full-frame camera, not APS-C.
So that's the shutter life.
2) Build quality
The 7D series bodies (and the 5D series and 1D series) have magnesium alloy bodies. This makes them rather strong, while avoiding putting on too much weight in the process. They can physically take a bit of knocking around. They'll get cosmetically scratched as a result of being knocked around (like anything), but they'll be substantially harder to cause serious damage (not impossible, but more difficult.)
DigitalRevTV did an episode where they heavily abused a 7D (original... not the II). They knocked it over, threw it down stairs, froze it water, shot at it, and set fire to it. In the end it was one sorry looking camera. They shattered the LCD screen. There were burn marks on it. It looked really bad. But they put a battery in, switched it on, pressed the shutter button and camera enthusiastically started clicking away!
Rebel series and mid-level bodies use a polycarbonate plastic body which is fairly strong and durable, but not as durable as magnesium alloy.
You have made a fine choice. Exactly what I would do. No matter what you are never hurt by getting the best. This camera will stay with you a long time and save you money in the long run. You won't have to ditch a Rebel realizing it is not what you wanted or needed.
Skill may not be in the box but this box but it will have a ton a possibilites included for free.
You do need to pair it with a same quality lens. Try to keep your outfit basicly equal or level. I am a big fan of the EF-S 17-55 f/2.8 IS USM right now. It is pretty impressive. And of course the best buy in a Canon "L" lens, the EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM. Not quite as wide but you get a moderate tele on the other end. Just some suggestions, check them out.
Yeah, it's my first camera, I have $5,000 set aside for both the body and a good lens, when I go to college next year I want to take some photography classes so this'll come in handy. Through the duration of my trip to France and Spain I'll be capturing people, you're typical monuments, and a few indoor shots. When I ruturn I'll use it for my hikes, taking photos of animals (mainly birds and insects), before this I'll use it for my last track season.
The photography class won't care if you're using a 6 MP relic with crappy glass. In fact, your teacher would probably have more respect for doing the class that way then coming in with a state of the art kit.
Don't underestimate the size and weight of a high end dSLR and good glass. For things like travel and hiking, smaller is better - to a point. As is not looking like you have $5000 of camera gear at your side. I've done an extensive amount of travel, mostly through hostels with my world in a backpack, and never had a problem, but met many, many, many travelers that weren't so lucky.
You sound like you've made up your mind, and that's fine, it's your money. Or your parents. But just to state it one more time. Even if you insist on spending $5000, spend $4000+ of that on lenses, they'll still be up to date in several years when you figure out what you're doing. The camera won't.