That's quite interesting. I don't fully agree that it could be fixed with firmware however. If the sensors are not reading the master light output, it could be that the flashtubes in the D800s are not reliably emitting across the portion of the spectrum that the slaves are expecting. This would be a significant hardware issue (but my observations are just that - observations - and not complete enough for any real conclusions). I'll stay tuned!
Tom: I would doubt that the spectral density of the flash output is controllable via firmware. That is pretty much a function of the flash tube. I suspect, but I'm only speculating, that the pulse train generated by the camera flash is not well formed, and the slave units are therefore not syncing with the transmitted pulses. A firmware update could address the modulation of the flash output, and possibly fix the problem.
I got my D800 yesterday, and I'm still wading through the owner's manual. I have an SB-600, and SB-800 and an SB-910 that I can test with my camera. Will report findings.
I use CLS a lot and last Thursday shot a 2nd birthday party for a friend's club. The light was predictably poor but still 1/2 the shots were done without flash and the other 1/2 were all CLS off camera SB900's. Hundreds of frames, no missed triggers, no poor exposures, no out of focus shots, no green tint to screen or images, no lockups no anything except the best images frame after frame than I have ever gotten in similar conditions. My friend preferred a candid shot of him with a mild backlight in a dark corner, without flash but ISO 25k, and 70-200 at f/2.8 best. He did not even notice the little noise, it just captured the tone and mood of him taking a break after MCing the party for hours. As camera geeks, we sometimes forget how little the technical characteristics mean to a non-photographer viewer of an image.
I dont have the CLS problem either with my D800. It fires all 4 of my SB800 units very reliably. Seems to be even slightly better than the D700. So I am very pleased with the D800 and flash photography Ray