My take is this. Nikon buy sensors in batches, so nikon have 2 million say 12mp FF sensors. The D3 isnt going to dent that figure too much so to shift the inventory nikon release the D700 a year after the D3 once demand has been run down and inventory stable. This frees up D3 production for a new sensor package D3(?), Nikon are always careful that a new body shouldnt completely replace an old one, so the D700 isnt as good in some areas but better in others (usability for non pro's is the main one). We have seen this in the past, remember the D70, D70S, D50, D40? All to my knowledge had the same 6mp sensor. We may see this with the FX 12mp sensor too. Pro->Pro(ish)->amature->beginner? So before people bash the D700 think about the bigger market! The 12mp FX sensor is still rocking the photographic world, with it's ISO and image quality so even if it is 18months old, your still getting one of the best sensors in the market for your (considerably less) money.