We are off to Italy for a few weeks and I wanted to travel a bit lighter and do more handheld photography, so I have purchased a Nikon D3x 24 mp camera. I sold my D3 and a few odds and ends on Craigs list to help fund the purchase. I do think the $8k price in the US is very high, so I purchased mine from Robert White in the UK and saved about $1400 by the time it was to my door (why is it so much cheaper in the UK???). It has a UK 2 year warranty, and there appears to be the option of extending it to 3 years. I would have to send it back to the UK for repairs, which is not that big of a deal via fedex. These things are so bomber that I do not anticipate problems. It did come with a UK power plug so I will have to get an adapter to use that in US sockets. I will be taking the 14-24 zoom, the 24-70 zoom, and the 80-400 zoom. I started a series of statue abstracts last time I was in Italy and want to continue this series, so the 80-400 VR should be great for that. I really loved using the D3, the ergonomics and ability to do ultra wide angle shots and low light shots made it a great complement to the Hasselblad H3D. I am not taking the H3D on this trip due to the hassles (no pun intended) of air travel with such big lenses, and the need to do more handheld shooting in Rome. I plan to stitch multiple frames with the D3x to see how they match up to a 40 meg H3D file, so I can create very large prints from the D3x if needed.
I am also trying out the new acratech GP ballhead, the tiny but mighty Gitzo traveller tripod, and the Epson P 6000 photo storage viewer which I will use to backup files from my Macbook Pro 15". The camera and lenses will be carried in the Lowe Pro flipside 400, which is a great pack for urban areas because the zip is in the back where the pack hits your back, making it impossible to unzip & steal stuff while it is on your back. It seems that everything will fit in there, it is a very compact little pack.
I will post updates and images when possible. We are going to Tuscany, the Dolomites, and Rome. Arrivederci!