In bright outdoors, especially on beach and water, I often use between -.3 and -1.0 exposure compensation to avoid clipped highlight on all RGB channels. This reminds me of my D80, and is NOT a complaint as I am quite familiar with this process. Seems, like the D80, the matrix meter is biased to preserve shadow detail. YMMV
LOVE the sunrise/sunset IQ/DR and get wonderful coloration without noise at high ISO.
VERY pleased so far with D600, just wish focal points were more widely dispersed. I do a lot of focus and recompose. Noticed this again last night in low light wide angle shots of 5-6 people in a room. Narrow DOF due to large aperture and with 28-35mm on tripod it was hard to keep focus accurate.
The focus point issue has been subject of many other comments and I do not want to hi-jack your thread which is about WB/metering.