Thanks for your update and relating your experience. Unfortunately for me, I've had the camera just over 1 year.
I just sent Nikon an E-mail relating my experience, I just hope they will accept my documentation that the issue occurred during the warranty period and will repair it for free.
I should have trusted my gut and contacted Nikon months ago, but instead I doubted myself and listened to all those whom insisted it could not be lubricant and must be dust. Hopefully it won't be an expensive lesson learned.