Hmm..I look at this a bit differently. The camera virtually costs the same now as it did 7 or 8 months ago as there's been no change in product though a minor decrease in cost as more are being sold as it seems now. So let's say that cost to Canon was $1500 but they were charging $3500 and gaining a $2000 profit in this example. Now that same $1500 has dropped to $2600..same camera, same parts. Though their profit margin has dropped per unit they are selling more cameras as the price reductions makes it more appealing to more clients thus picking up in a higher quantity sales revenue stream vs. lower sales / greater profit margin (logical scenario). Wouldn't they have rather sold more up front and possibly grabbed competitive customers from Nikon or upgrades from crop sensor customers? I believe they lost some folks to Nikon (just go to Nikonrumors.com and see for yourself)and ticked off others on their high price gouging. Point being if they were willing to settle on a $2600 price now then why wait the 8 months to do so and lose 'any' prospects? PS - Some of you that use the camera to make a profit or make a living in photography boast unfairly that you've regained your money back. We are glad for you but that is a myopic standpoint when there are many others that do feel slighted from this drastic price drop in such a short period of time and earn no income from their photography. Canon didn't win any points here, they only lost (as there isn't one person that would favor a higher price) as those that are now soured will wait on future releases and no longer be early adopters which I believe are key in their "testing the waters"- net result is unfavorable in any regard..there's no win to anyone there. My belief is there was too much of a price drop in too short of a period of time. Not griping about a price drop per say, we all know that is to be expected and I think most accept this but not at 26% (2600 / 3500) as Nikon's decrease seems more in line than the extortion-like routine that Canon pulled.
Rev, not sure I agree with you here. For every major product launch a company like Canon, Nikon, Dell, Apple whatever will lose some customers due to disappointment of the products and win some thanks to the product. I am sure there are customers who have gone the other way also, when Nikon launched the D800 I am sure there were plenty of people who were disappointed with its limited abilities in terms of AF, burst speed and low light performance. We might not have heard of these people here at this forum, but that doesn't mean they don't exist. I have also been over to nikonrumors (asking about lenses for a friend) and seen a couple of guys saying they are moving away from Nikon. In a a couple of these cases, from their approach it seems more to me like that they are looking for acknowledgement and appreciation more than asking for advise about the Nikon product line. My guess is that several of them won't buy a Nikon in the end either.
In terms of price, well I was one of the early adopters (but waited long enough for the light leak to be fixed for future resell purposes) so I paid a heavy price for it. I am not a professional and definitely didn't need the camera in that sense, but it's still nice to have it and use it. Photography is an expensive hobby for me, I make some money out of it but not enough to cover the hardware cost.
Technology always gets cheaper once it's produced in volumes, that is why we have quad core processors in our computers. Software and services don't follow that price curve.
Nikon's price policy in the case of D800 and D600 for me is inexplicable, it seems that they are in deep trouble or that they have gotten a really cheap price on the sensors from Sony OR did the Dell mistake of using too cheap components for some parts of the camera. That is something that always comes back to bite the company doing that.
My main point though is that all companies will win or lose companies in times of change or major launches. I wouldn't worry too much about the 8 or 10 guys shouting out their hate/frustration in a sometimes overly histrionic fashion.
In the end, I got to agree with you a bit though, the price drop was significant.