For what it's worth Scott, I agree with you 1000%. What is the point of spending $2100-3000 to go backwards and have to reinvent the wheel because what we've had for many years and many generations of cameras is more or less arbitrarily taken away?
I started with a D70 and $10,000 later I'm looking at a slower sync speed than anything I had on my 5 prior DSLR bodies. That makes no sense at all, in terms of value received for price paid. And it doesn't matter that it's "only" 1/3 stop. It's the point/principle (for me) of going backwards, in this case to something I didn't even have to deal with on my first truly entry level DSLR.
But as I mentioned in my first post, anyone that says that third of a stop doesn't matter needs to show me wildlife images shot at 850mm and 1/200s max speed. A 1/250s was bad enough. A 600/4 shooter might be shooting 1000 or 1200mm. With a well designed D600 I would probably be popping for a D600 and a $500+ TC20E-III and shooting 1000mm instead of sitting pat and spending zip.
I could do what Stan suggests with a D3200. Just reinvent my wheel to work around all the obstacles erected by the feature losses. The point is... why should I?
I don't think Nikon understands why many of us spent so much in the past 8-10 years, generation after generation. We never did that in the film days. We did it with digital to move unambiguously forward, spending very serious money to solve real problems, not so we could figure out how to go backward and work around new ones, or problems long ago solved now back front and center.