My first DSLR was D80 with 18-200VR and 10-20 SWAL almost 10 year ago. It took great pictures on monitor and small prints. When D300 was out, I thought I could get a better result but not so much, until I got a number of good lenses, like 17-55. Then I found the limitation of large prints beyond 30-40" in size. So when D800 was announced I preordered it and waited for many months to get it. To date, I have not tested the 36MP for large prints yet because I have no need for doing that yet. But I have been pleasantly surprised by its high ISO performance.
To this date, I still often find my D80 shots look sharper than D300's but never better than d800's. one thing I do found though is the advantage of VR when shooting with D800. Hand held, my results with 70-200VRii are always look better than 24-70mm non VR lens'.
Overall, I am happy with my D800. Although I still have previous models, but they are all on the shelf now. I only bring one camera nowadays and it is D800. It is much much more versatile. I could not wait to receive my first WAL with VR, 16-35mm, to try out with D800. And this should be my last acquisition until D400 is out. Or not.
Someone once said here that D800 would change you as a photographer, not the other way around. I might add that it is a big shoe to fit.
JC at macroXscape.com Where miracles of art happen.