Sounds like your D800 had it really bad. Perhaps it even had an additional issue above and beyond the "textbook" left focus issue. I just did test shots last weekend in preparation for sending my D800 to Melville. My test target was just a DeWalt tool case, focusing on the lettering. At 24/1.4 it is obvious. At 50/1.4 it is noticeable. By the time I would get to 85 it would be a hard case to make. And just for giggles, at 300/2.8 it was dead on using a LensAlign (no fine tuning needed). I'm not disagreeing, that rigorous testing may not be needed in many cases, but there may also be more subtle instances of the left focus problem. Depending on shooting style (for example a wildlife shooter) the problem might not be readily apparent in one's normal shooting. Some may not readily have the lenses required to reveal the issue.
For what its worth, my "testing" consisted of 3 shots phase detect (AF-S) and 3 shots contrast detect (live view) at each of three focus points: far left, center, far right. Focus ring twisted before each shot. All three left focus point phase detect images are obviously not like all the others at 24/1.4. At 50/1.4 still evident but less so. Target at about 10 feet, tripod, remote cable, shutter speed > 1/2000 etc. I call it "testing" but perhaps a better word is documentation. Not long after getting the camera I knew I had the problem by just shooting a gate lock with my 24/1.4 using the left focus point. But, of course, I was looking for it and I had the lens.