Ok...so this is a confusing issue for me and occasionally there is a brain f**t and I have not received a definite answer from BH Photo....no, have not talked to Nikon at this point.
FACT: When the setting is RAW only, there is no option to set L,M or S, at least on the D7000 so it would seem that it is shooting at the native resolution on the camera of 16.2 MP.
FACT: The L,M or S image size applies to .jpg only so with reference to the D7000 the L=16.2 MP .jpg, M=9.0 MP .jpg and S=4.0 MP .jpg
Question 1: Regarding the Nikon camera such as D7000, D800, when the camera is set to shoot at "RAW + jpg Normal-S(mall) my understanding that the "Small" refers to the image quality of the .jpg file only and the RAW (NEF) file is ALWAYS the native resolution of the camera ie: 16.2, 36.3 respectfully, is this correct?
Question 2: When considering the purchase of the D800, is there any way to set the camera to shoot anything less than 36.3 MP with a RAW file?