f311: I don't get the uproar.
Seriously, how can Nikon making the decision to take full control and responsibility of its repair network be a bad thing? If my camera needs a repair I would be pleased to know it's being handled by factory authorized trained professionals.
To that end, exactly what spare parts do so many cry babies here need to buy? Hint take care of your expensive stuff and parts won't break off. Really what parts besides port covers could the average user replace anyway.
And to all the whiners, relax, there will always be some independent guy out there who will be happy to take your money to install questionable ebay sourced junk parts from broken bodies. I'm sure he will also ignore all static discharge protection rules during your repair too.
Good luck with that one.
I'll send my Nikon to Nikon.
My grandfather would buy nothing but Plymouth cars - his first car was a Plymouth before WWII - he bought 3 or 4 more as parts began to fall off and the vinyl top peeled, so they had to be replaced. He loved his Plymouths ! At last, my dad asked him to test drive a Honda. He loved it and bought it. When asked why he bought Plymouths and tolerated them, he replied that he "always had". Brand snobs have always been around, even when the brands "jump the shark" and make suicidal decisions. At least Plymouth parts were available at any auto supply, and they didn't require the car be taken to "factory dealer" to replace a gas cap. Nikon - let me introduce you to Kodak - you have a lot in common.