neeneko, I think it's primarily a function of development and marketing costs. at the end of the day, yes, it is cheaper, and simpler, for canon to develop a single camera at any given price point that incorporates as many general functions as is reasonable for them to put into it, rather than splitting a product into two or three subproducts. having two mass consumer versions of a 5D-type camera, for instance, would complicate production scheduling, shipping and inventory, and fundamentally may confuse consumers. this goes all the way from Canon HQ down to the level of the local camera store. I'll bet you there's a lot of people interested in buying the new Nikon D800/D800E who are scratching their heads trying to figure out if they're purchasing the right one, or what they're missing out on if they don't purchase the other one, or if one is strictly better than the other.