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Huh, the Iron Giant is awesome and gave us Brad Bird, but Spirited Away is a masterpiece.
Maybe my mind is too Western for its own good, but I didn't "get" Spirited Away at all. It seemed random and weird to me.
While both are masterpieces of animation and show the best from two directors who obviously know what they are doing, I got to go with The Iron Giant. The film felt really natural with its relationships and even managed to show great cold war tension. Spirited away also does very well in creating the world it inhabits also, but I remember The Iron Giant more fondly with its bitter sweet end.
Definitely Sen to Chihiro no Kamikakushi. I'm studying Japanese, so what to expect... It is one of my very favourite movies.