There was a firmware update that was supposed to help with the banding. I don't have banding that is too bad. In the photo I posted, I only really see 3 very faint bands, and I didn't do anything to them... Like I said, that is with no noise removal at all.
My comment wasn't addressed to you specifically, but thank you for the info on the banding firmware change.
I remember that release and it never really addressed the real banding issue, there was a separate vertical banding issue in certain image recording sizes that the firmware fixed, it didn't do anything for the horizontal chroma bands that start to become really noticeable at 6400 and 12800. On some accounts, some owners actually thought the banding was worse, but it is hard to to really tell without very specific before/after shots in the same exact conditions at the same settings.