Eric- Thank you for your detailed reply and explanations. My original concern was that my D90 was shooting with better exposure than my D300s under the same lighting conditions (and same settings, ie Matrix, ADL HIGH, SD Pict control). The d300s tended to be +2/3 overexposed in bright sunlight. I shoot a lot of outdoor sports, particularly bike racing, with both bodies using one for wide zoom the other for tele-zoom.
I've used center (8mm) before for this type of subject, but found, as you mentioned, that the uniform can through off the exposure...(esp. if all black or white).
Using manual is also a good suggestion, as some co-photographers use this. But, only good in consistent light conditions. Also, in any aBut, I expect my D300s should perform as well as my D90.
Based on your description of ADL, I don't think it is working at all on my D300s. Further, in continuous fire, with consisting subj. and lighting...I'll get an exposure 'hick-up', where one frame decides to be off by one stop.
I'm on assignment for the London Paralympics on Aug 29th...so, rather than repair I'm trading in for a new D300s, and starting with a fresh camera(besides, I have 50K clicks on the current body)