Sun 21-Oct-12 09:25 PM | edited Sun 21-Oct-12 09:30 PM by ajdooley
You can get a difinitive answer -- albeit one that may change in the future -- about non-warrantee repairs by contacting APS in Morton Grove, IL. They are an authorized Nikon repair facility and can therefore still get parts. I don't know for a fact what the policy is for grey market repairs there -- but ask them. They are much more concentious about customer relations than either Nikon in New York or in California.
Also, if you are buying new from B-H, they offer 3 and 5 year warrantees that cover such matters as even dropping the lens.
FWIW, I have never had a Nikon lens fail me in my 45 years using exclusively Nikon equipment and grey market and USA items are absolutely identical and are produced at the same time. I use mine pretty extensively, although I do take very good care of them. There are NOT two production streams. Nikon USA imports items themselves, for further sale to dealers and through their store. They provide a 5-year warranty on these lenses. Other dealers legally import lenses at lower prices, but Nikon USA will not repair them.
$250? I'd seriously consider it. Even a Nikon USA item is out of warrantee after five years, at $50 a year difference. And I send my equipment to APS in Morton Grove, IL before it goes to Nikon - faster, better and fairer pricing.