everyone pouring over image files to examine them at sub-atomic levels to see if the molecular structure of the D800 is cleaner.
That's the rational opinion that made Canon make their 5d3 with 22mp. Basically, you're saying that the gear has to be in line with the photographer's needs, and too many mp for lower fps or higher noise or dr (though the d800 seems to be unaffected) don't result in good pictures - cropping power is not everything.
However, I really don't see why the resulting mp count and dr/noise tradeoff would be 22 instead of e.g. 28. Canon (marketing) could have lowered the mp to 16, too, and made iso 6400 look like iso 100. But they didn't.
I guess what people are saying/writing based on rational thinking is one thing, what they actually wish for or would buy is another thing alltogether. This is what Canon marketing overlooked when they granted the wish for a "fixed" 5d2 and came up with the current 5d3 specs.
The other way around, I am pretty sure many Nikon gear owners who argued "12 or 16mp are enough" for the last years now are absolutely crazy about "their" brand 36mp body, and so would be Canon users that now praise the 5d3 if Canon would be able to release at least a 28mp 5dx.