I want ( I'm not a pro so I won't say "need") better high ISO performance than my D200 can deliver. The D300 is a step up but is not a huge step up in that department. I want better low light autofocus capability, again, not a big step up in the D300. I want a faster frame rate than the D300. I want this in a DX format with a pro level body that can take the abuse and be as durable and consistent as my D200 has been. In other words, a D7000 will not cut it.
Essentially I want a D200/D300 body that incorporates the latest advances......and by latest mean less than 5 years old in Nikon 's case (and apparently Canon's too).
Now, this might be an unrealistic expectation but it is only unrealistic if Nikon and/or Canon have determined that they can't or won't continue to pursue a pro line of DX bodies. The technology is there.
If Nikon would simply be forthcoming in its future plans it would make things a lot simpler. And I'm not looking for a product announcement. Large tech companies typically do not show their hand in that way. But they do often announce when a product path is over. If it is over, that is all I want to know. I won't be 'angry' with Nikon for choosing that path but I'm an quite frustrated, along with many others, at being left in the dark.......for a long, long time...........in DSLR years.
And if that is the case, I will either 1) stay with my D200, which I'm am still very fond of, 2) get a used D300 and settle with that or 3) get a D800 which is more camera than I need to spend money on and will also require a substantial financial commitment to new glass.
Options 1 and 2 will also involve watching the broader market for any camera maker who can better fill my needs and option 3 will involve reassessing my commitment to Nikon before pulling the trigger on the D800.
And this need not be an emotional Nikon vs Brand X loyalty kind of thing. As mentioned I can hardly even imagine shooting anything but Nikon (since my first FG) but the market is what it is and consumer wants are what they are. While it is unlikely that brand X will meet my needs better than Nikon.....if they do it would be silly not to explore those options especially since Nikon's current path (and silence) are not doing anything to bolster my loyalty any.