The U-point is the only reason I bought CNX2. Without it, I see no reason to use NX-D.
I currently own nine 3rd party batteries for several different cameras. Some of the batteries are around 10 years old. None of them have ever failed or overheated. I'm yet to see any statistics or numbers that point to 3rd party batteries causing damage to Nikon cameras.
I believe Nikon reason for the firmware block are pure marketing. Nothing else, just that.
Glad to see Nikon continuing the support for new camera and adding improved functionality. Unlike Adobe where the RAW support for new cameras runs out in a year or so and you're forced to pay for the new version.
I have owned PS Elements version 5,6,8 and 10 and now I have LR 5. I still go to CNX2 for most of my post processing. It does a very good job despite being perceived by many as dated.
JakeB: Superzooms -- for those who don't give a hoot about IQ.
I might sell my 18-105 vr and 70-300to buy this lens. I doubt the quality will be notcible in anything below 16 X 20 prints. I lost many good photos because I did not have enough time to switch from my 70-300 vr to my 18-105 vr. This lens will be perfect for me. Nikon made the right move in making this lens. A lot of people are going to be happy with it.