There are different sharpening strategies. Sharpening can be an art by itself. There are a number of tools that can be used and they can be used at different stages for different results.
The short answer is that you normally need to apply a little sharpening to the RAW image. The Standard picture control contains a small amount of sharpening. Applying sharpening at this stage is referred to as Capture Sharpening. And you want just enough to sharpen edges in your image. If you apply too much sharpening at this stage, it can introduce noise or artifacts. With complex editing of challenging images, you might reduce the sharpening at this stage. The Neutral picture control still has a little sharpening but it is lighter. Or you could remove all sharpening.
If you want to produce smaller JPEG files - 8x10 or smaller - you might need a little more sharpening. That's a case where you might add sharpening to the Picture Control setting or sharpen again during conversion.
This size difference is probably why your D700 images look sharper. When you downsize both to the same size, the sharpening edge of the D800 image gets reduced further than the D700 image.
The disadvantage of all this is the in-camera sharpening can be a bit coarse. It's easy to have too much sharpening or to sharpen with different settings than you would intend to use. You'll have to experiment to come up with an approach that suits your taste and your desired output.