I now feel dumber for having read this thread. I think knowing how many times the shutter has mechanically moved is a critical piece of information in making a buy/sell decision. Arguing firmware or intellectual property with regards to this information is ludicrous and fallacious at best. I think it all boils down to having some sort of comfortability with a seller. There are a number of tools out there that provide reasonably reliable information on a good number of camera bodies.