Re: D700 design flaw?
Many things which are catered to a premium class may seem affordable but many also forget the maintenance/servicing cost behind it, which is why they were catered to that class from the start. Try owning an Alfa Romeo or a BMW. They appear cheap and affordable to many but when the electronics or the car itself fails, I wish you all the best. The reason why the rubber is so unforgiving is because Nikon made the D700 weather proof. How much faith would you have in it if the rubber can be easily peeled off and glued together? I would have my doubts. The rubber of the camera is not designed to stretch. The structural integrity would not be there anymore. The earlier analogy of the pistons replacement is very apt because the inside of the engine bay is also somewhat "weather proof". Rather than whine about it, you should have faith that the camera was indeed built to withstand abuse. In my university days, I use to play in band a lot. The capacitors in my guitar multi effects pedal blew and I ended up paying half the price of the pedal to get it fixed. It was painful financially but I know it had to be done and it was done by the best so that I will get the best out of it.
Secondly you can call it a marketing gimmick/con job/whatever it is you want but Nikon is running a business here. They are not running a charitable organization. The point of a business is to make money and obviously they will try their best to make as much as possible. The need the cash flow and there's only so may new cameras they can sell. You buy a camera and a set of lenses and you don't purchase anything from them for next 5-7 years. Worst still most of us buy used equipments so who's the real repeating customers? Can't blame them. If you're lucky, they will do it for free. If not, then just pay whatever is due. I stress that I DO NOT work for Nikon