(news and commentary)
Last year I tore into Nikon for forcing people to pay shipping and repair fees for stupid things, like replacing user-replaceable parts.
Well, the good news is that NikonUSA seems to have at least partly heard the complaints. If you lose the vertical grip plug or the battery compartment door, you'll now find that you can get many of those parts from the Nikon Parts Store. That's certainly a step in the right direction.
But it's only a step, as I discovered in a couple of emails I received since Christmas about o-rings and other small parts that should be user replaceable, but which Nikon insists on repairing themselves. Also, there's a flat UPS shipping charge of US$12.50, and out of stock items can't be placed on backorder, which means you have to keep checking back for when an item goes into stock.
Grading on a curve, we went from a D- to a C-. Woo hoo, Thom wrote something positive about Nikon! Let the celebratory tweeting commence.