Who am I kidding? I'll never have the scratch to buy the D2X. But I'd like to consider either a used D1X or a new D2H. I shoot mostly scenics and landscapes so FPS isn't critical, but dynamic range and color rendition is critical. The largest size I would print is 13x19. I won't be shooting in RAW mode. I've considered the Fuji S3 pro but prefer to be able to shoot flash with i-TTL. I've gotten used to my F5 so size isn't a critical factor. So what do you think, D1X or D2H?
I just went through the same thing and in the end I ordered the D2H which should arrive in a day or two. I know I could not afford a D2X and did not want to trade my fast focus and feel of the F5 do go digital. I also think for the price its not a bad deal. Remember a month ago it was around $3000. I can not really comment on the D2H has not arrived yet, but I did so much reading that I am confident that I can like you print a 13x19 print. I have been informed by many here at Nikonian that the learning curve can be steep, but I look forward to it. This is the link to my question, if you would like to look over some of the post.
If you want a used D1x just wait a little longer and there will be loads for sale as most people will be trading in their's for the D2x. But the chances are they will be battered as most will have been used by pro's so for the price of a decent used D1x you could buy a new D2h.
Frankly, you'd be happy with either. For someone who will do mostly scenics and landscapes as you state, a "sports" camera is typically not the best choice. But I vote for the D2H as well. The D1X is great, but the battery and flash systems alone are good reasons to get the H over the X. The D2H, in my opinion, is the best handling DSLR on the market today. When you finally get the coin for a D2X, assuming you haven't gone to Canon in the meantime, the D2H will make a great backup.
I just picked up a new D2H for $1,850 after renting one a couple of times last fall to shoot some bike races (I applied a discount from a previous D2H rental and there's no sales tax here). I'm happy with it as long as I understand it's limitations. If I'm not shooting in flat outdoor light, then I have to be careful. Which brings me to your comment about not shooting RAW. If you get a D2H, then I highly recommend that you do shoot RAW whenever you can.
First of all, NEF files provide a ton more latitude for corrections and general adjustments in post-processing. You will eventually want to shoot RAW for your important shots -- it's just a better quality file. And Capture is a great companion to have as you start to develop your image editing workflow.
If you nail your exposures and white balance with the D2H, then JPEG capture is fine. But the high ISO noise you've read about is definitely there. Hell, it's there with all digital cameras, but Canon is certainly in the lead when it comes to controlling noise. Now, I personally think the D2H noise problem is overblown, but you do need to be careful and get as close as you can with your exposures for best results (and keep ISO as low as possible). If not, then I'd rather be pulling shadow detail out of a NEF file than a JPEG.
I never really understood the D1x pricing... how can they still be commanding $3000 when a D2h is down to $1999?? I called Nikon, and the guy had no answer, other than to say that the D2H was the better camera and the D1x was discontinued..
I had a situation similar to yours. While I pondered the D2H, not really liking its parameters, and certainly unable to afford the D2x, I put out the word among several dealers I trusted to tell me if they got in a really nice D1x. Last week the call came!
What I found when the package arrived was the original large box with the three silver boxes inside, all literature and packing, all original components and the camera iteself, looking as though it had never been used. I use it every day now with the D70 I already had and I am happy for my decision. Of course, the price helped me decide.