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Well, I had a good repair experience a couple years ago...and it was damage due to "Impact". In fact, I told them it was impact damage, because I fell onto the camera and lens...while climbing on an ice formation. $225 later (+ about 10 days) and it was back - looking very spiffy. The outside of my D300 body didn't have a single mark on it after the fall. It just stopped displaying images on the LCD, and was throwing a r06 error on the top lcd...but it kept on shooting.
I also saw decades of pool equipment usage at the newspaper. Seriously, they didn't own a single piece of equipment that didn't have impact damage. Something about "other" people paying for equipment made some photogs less careful with the gear. Point is, I think "impact damage" is far more common than many may believe.
In that time, at the newspaper, I always had good repair experiences with Melville NY. (I never tried anywhere else) I hope this thread is not indicative of a change in Nikon's service ethic.