I respectfully disagree. *most* users don't pixel peep, and most users rarely shoot above ISO 800, so noise is irrelevant. Up to ISO 800 the Nikon/Canon cameras are pretty damn even in terms of performance.
And yes, the 5D/D3 do compete with the 1Ds II and 1Ds III imho. Why are so many 5D's selling for wedding photography etc, and not so many 1Ds Mark II units? Because quite simply, the Mark II is very expensive, IQ wise is not as good as the 5D. mp count is not everything when it comes to cameras. This reminds me of the old mhz BS from a few years back, where my CPU is better than yours cos it has a faster mhz rating. It's marketing hype, nothing more and nothing less. An 8mp camera will print very nice A3 sized prints, how many people really print at that size, or above? Probably very few, even counting the working pros.
And I would really disagree with your comments that the D2Xs is a crap camera. It isn't. I remember a post about six months or so ago (I think it was GyRob) who said he was surprised that the Nikon D200 had much better low light focusing than his much more costly Mark IIn. Does that mean the Mark IIn is crap? No.
Oh, and a f2.8 lens isn't always better than a f4 lens. Most lens sweetspots are around f8 anyways, whether they're a L series lens or not. Wide open lends to various distortions and generally lower resolving power of the lens. Of course, if you want a nice bokeh, and nothing else it does come in handy. Or, if you're shooting wide open in low light conditions to avoid bumping up the ISO, it's also handy.
One does not really need a 16mp camera or a 22mp camera, and I'm glad Nikon has realised that it's just a pi$$ing contest. I'd rather a 8mp full frame 1 series camera, with the AF performance and buffer performance and fps performance of the non full frame 1 series cameras. Canon could do such a beast, but they're convinced that more mp means a better camera, and that's not always the case.
I'll be interested to see if the D3 AF trounces the Mark III AF (which I suspect it will in all honesty). Can I then say that the Mark III is a crap camera?
You often will have the wider lens just so you can spot down to the sweet spot of the lens. I *guarantee you* that my 24-70mm 2.8 is sharper at 4.0 than 24-105 wide open at 4.0. I also regularly use my 85mm prime just so 2.8 is nice and sharp... How does that fit into the puzzle?
Doesn't make much sense to me some of the arguements in this. Also, while many don't use need the higher megapixels, some DO. Your viewpoint seems to be very short-sided. Not everyone has your needs, others have different needs.