>I see - Nikon doesn't have a dual assembly line - just a >single line and products are sold to Nikon USA and other >companies in the country of manufacture who sell directly to >companies in the USA. Is this correct?
>If these items are identical, why is there some reluctance to >buy top dollar gray products? The warranty is reduced for the >gray products but companies like Adorama will give the same >guarantee as the manufacturer.
The Warrantys are not the same. Most Retailers selling Gray Market lenses will provide a One Year Warranty. For Service you will have to send the gear back to the Retailer. Nikon USA provides a One Year International Warranty + a 4 Year Extended Warranty. For service you can send the gear directly to Nikon USA Service or one of the Authorized Repair Stations.
I have noticed that according to the Nikon USA website, only Nikon Service is authorized to repair high end lenses like the 24-70mm and 70-200mm. That may make it more difficult to get a Gray Market Lens repaired since Nikon USA Service will Not service Gray Market Gear even for a fee. This contributes to the lower value of used Gray Market gear.
>Should I go with gray products or stick with Nikon USA?
Personally when I buy new camera bodies or lenses I buy Nikon USA. Good Luck and Enjoy your Nikons!