Also, no comments on your post regarding image quality, sharpness of your 10,000 shots. any thoughts there?
Guys, this a GREAT camera! The best event camera which I ever seen (or it could be) - my IMHO of course. I saw, Canon 350D, EOS 1Ds Mk II, 1Ds Mk III, 1D Mk IV, 60D, 5D, 5D Mk II, Nikon D70, D5000, D3s, D700, D7000 and some Sony Alphas (the last one A-500).
I humbly think that I'm not very biased. The hurdles from my OP, the enthusiasm around D800 which in part I understand and the "softness" of my first photos (more on this later) keeps me more or less with the feet on the ground.
The first problem with my first shoots were the "softness" of the first photos. One of the main causes was/is the lack of AF MicroAdjustment. It seems that some lens needed it. Another cause is the new AF subsystem which is a gorgeous type of work but one needs to learn how to use it. Another thing is the problem from the point 2 in my OP (the shutter speed is slower than the lens' focal distance).
Another thing is that it seems that Canon did many things for Noise Reduction sometimes sacrificing detail. That's why, from my experience, shoot in RAW and stop around 12800 ISO. ISO 25600 is definitely workable and useful but personally I won't let the camera to go by itself there. Nobody should have problems with ISO till 1600 or even 3200 in real world situations. (Guys shooting with lens caps on is not a real world situation).
A game changer is the new metering engine. The photos look sometimes darker and sometimes do not "pop" so much. But there is enough headroom in the histogram to work with. Also you must learn from experience what really means "Evaluative Metering" now.
AF system. This alone should account for an upgrade. But you must learn it. The full-automatic AF in which camera chooses can be dangerous sometimes (can be somewhat slow, or to choose another AF point that you don't want) but it is better than in past iterations. The other modes are much better. Also, this is IMHO the first reliable AI Servo which I use. It can catch the priest clothes when he moves incensing in the low light of a church. Very impressive. But you must learn a little how to do it. Isn't very hard but you need to exercise it. Also, wery good thing about the AF system is that it is/it can be linked to the camera's orientation. So you have 2 settings for the AF engine.
(Near) Silent shooting. A must have. Only from experience one can say what a big difference is to be unnoticed being at several meters from your subject and immortalizing him as he really is.
Another good surprise is battery life: @ 2000 shots. The manual says 950. I cannot explain why. Perhaps because I turned off the Auto Review (but I do manually review the photos from time to time) and the Focus Confirmation Beep.
DR: Very Good for me. I need better high ISO. Yes, I would like to have the D800's DR but NOT
sacrificing the high ISO performance. It is more important for me the ability to have high fps which are focused and with reasonable noise in low light.
WB: Very very good. And I'm speaking about very difficult lightning: candles, tungsten, incandescent, small lamps, smoke from fire, candles, censer etc. - a whole mix of them. The camera is/was always on AWB. Leave it as is.
HDR & Multiple Exposure mode: I've played a little with HDR. Technically good thing, useful, if you don't have moving things in your photo but I'm thinking now that too much DR makes your photos too unnatural. Ok, sometimes it works but not in too many cases. IMHO.
Ergonomics: Hallelujah! Very very good. Many things go natural, even if you need to customize the camera. It seems that the Canon was quite prudent in some areas. Sometimes more than it should and this drags you down. See the points 3 and 5 from my OP.
Generally speaking I'm pleased with the purchase - looking at D800 samples I don't think that it would serve me better. Ok, I would like to have less noise at high ISO but this is tech now. IMHO there is an exaggerated pixel-peeping nowadays around these cameras. Go and shoot. It will help you.
PS: What I would expect from Canon is to be next to us and improve the things in order to show that they do care. It can be a game changer for them.