Jt--Yes, everyone was calling Bernal the new Noe several years ago. What Bernal does have are many smaller, yet charming homes at more affordable prices; a useful retail district featuring a lot of restaurants and shops; and reasonable proximity to public transportation in the form of buses. It is a great walking neighborhood, though south of Cortland closer to the Alemany projects tends to be a little less desirable.
Bernal is a bit further removed from things, and this is based on feedback I've heard from buyer clients. It is a hike to the rail lines, but has excellent 280 and 101 access. And the weather is superior. You can divide Bernal into several parts; the north slope above Cortland tends to be the most popular. Less so for the east slope, which is much further from Cortland.
Bernal has a more urban feel due to its proximity to the Mission. That being said, proximity to the Mission restaurants and shops is a plus. I'll take Emmy's Spaghetti Shack, the Front Porch, or El Rio any night.