>How long does Nikon take to service a problem like this? I'm >going on vacation in 6 weeks and I would rather have a camera >with no CLS than no camera.
I have no experience with Nikon Service Center. Maybe someone else can chime in. You can also check another thread where Gary Poole had to send his D800E to Nikon. See if he has provided any updates. I think on that thread some people have reported on various turn-around periods.
>I should check whether an SB-800 can act as commander when the >builtin flash glitches; that would be a decent workaround. Update this thread with your findings, as it may help someone.
My other flash is SB-28 (i.e. not compatible with CLS), hence I cannot help you with that setup (i.e. using SB-800 as master/commander mode)