Mirroring is more an 'automated' logshipping than it is similar to replication.
Replication (transactional) will give you a second server that's fully usable (read and write) that is slightly behind the publisher. There's no easy way to reverse the direction of the replication. It requires manual work to drop the existing publication and subscription and recreate in the opposite direction.
Mirroring gets you a secondary database that's inaccessible but is up to date (synchronous mirroring) or nearly up to date (asynchronous mirroring) with the primary. Changing which is active is very easy, it's a single command.
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