I have been buying refurb electronics for years. In someways I feel better about a trained tech making sure that it is 100% instead of it just rolling off an assembly line.
Highly, and I mean, Highly dependent upon the tech doing it.. A good tech is one thing, and a lazy tech- another.. The quality of their work and how thorough they are - often shows. Problem is Canon won't tell you how good the tech working on a particular piece really is..
My 7D is a refurb and about 2 years old. After 3 weeks I had to send it back for a shutter but it hasn't missed a step since! I wasn't freaked out about it because things happen to new units as well.
I guess that means so much for a trained tech making sure it is 100%... So much for Q.C. ... Good that it got fixed later..
Nope, bought my refurbed 7D from Canon, basically brand new. Typically overstock, customer returns, demos, etc... Do not confuse refurb cameras with ones sent back in to be fixed and resold.
And does Canon tell you whether your refurb is from a customer return because of overstock, or they changed their mind or if the camera actually had issues ? Probably not. So much for that.
Don't get me wrong, my opinion is that a refurb is probably no better nor worse than picking up one that you think is new from best buy (which means it might have been opened, or even sold and returned as new ... ) Difference is price and warranty.. 90 days is often long enough to sort out if the body is good enough- but to lose 3/4 of the warranty- I would hope that I save 20 to 30% off (which it is not- right ? ). Right now, you are getting basically a "used" camera, that might or might not be new-ish, for 12% to 15% off new price. Better than buying a used body off from craigslist - for a 90 day warranty- but in the end, you might get a camera that has 60 clicks on it- or you might get one that has 6,000 clicks on it. also, if you factor in having to provide a body for trade-in- your savings is also less.