Does it make sense for Nikon to simply put D7100 innards into a D300 body, just so some users can avoid adapting to a new interface, and so some users can have a bigger, manhood-compensating, "pro" body?
Hate to say it but you are right. The big thing I see missing on the 7100 is the 10 pin connector.
Sitting here looking at my two D300 knowing that they are "not good enough" anymore for second shooters in the eyes of many wedding photogs (don't want to even talk about the tons of Canon shooters who will not accept Nikon camera images). Have seen second shooter requirements for 700 or above. IE no D300 bodies. The 7100 may be almost the D400 but that 4 digit designator will kill it being accepted for pro work.
Nikonians is the Smithsonian of Nikon knowledge. If there is a question they can't answer, I want to see the question.