> "It's very rare for a D800 shot to be so far off that you can't recover highlights when shooting raw files, especially with modern raw converters."
Rick, I fully agree with you, in most situations. If the highlight areas are big enough, matrix metering will usually ensure sufficient highlight recovery.
But there's one aspect of the D800E that changes the picture, and that's the amazing cropping ability. It's possible to shoot a small white target that fills less than a percent of the frame, and then crop massively. A swan shot from a distance is a typical example. Without -0.3 or -0.7ev compensation, the matrix metering of my D800E assumes that a distant swan is specular highlight that's permitted to blow.
Blowing out snow or clouds is very rarely a problem because if there is snow or clouds in the picture, there is so much of it that the metering will not dismiss it as specular highlight.