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You know, I won't say there haven't been times I've used 9FPS, but for the most part a 5.5FPS burst during game action would really be enough for this sports shooter. I've shot beside people who machine gun all game long. To me, it's just a quicker waste of your shutter life and more time spent deleting images. I've used 9FPS for pitching sequences, for capturing a bike or ski/snowboard jump, and maybe the odd time for a batter's swing or slapshot "flex", but each time is planned. I don't generally shoot the game in CH mode... it leads to more "double shots" than I like, so I'm usually in single shot mode or CL.
Every shooter is different, but I sure wouldn't turn down a camera that does 5-6FPS with outstanding IQ just because it doesn't machine gun fast enough. YMMV. The D700 with grip is an excellent suggestion if you wanted more speed and a rugged build.