The breakthrough (price and performance) Nikon D700 is now available at B&H Photo. Both the body only and 24-120 kit were in stock as of this morning. How does it compare to the Nikon D3? From every report from those lucky few who got advance cameras: identical image quality. So it is really a features issue: lower frame rates, single CF card slot, 95% viewfinder coverage vs 100%, and the anti-dust feature are the things most users will care about for features. But the best feature for many will be more compact and lighter body versus the bulky D3. Even so, the OpTech ProLoop strap is the first upgrade you should consider.
My thoughts on the 24-120 VR kit lens: a sub-optimal pairing for image quality. The same stunning image quality can be expected from the D700 as the D3—why cripple the results with “ok” glass? The wide zoom range and VR of the 24-120 is certainly appealing as an all-around grab-shot lens and/or when switching lenses is problematic. But those interested in first-rate images from a zoom should be looking at the Nikon Nikon 24-70/2.8G and/or Nikon 14-24/2.8G, both of which represent the best of modern zoom lens design. At the long end, understand that the Nikon 70-200/2.8VR has poor performance at the long end. The downside to the quality 14-24G and 24-70G zooms is their substantial size and weight. The Zeiss ZF lenses offer a much more compact footprint along with outstanding image quality