You win grand prize. Your point of the $1,000 paperweight really is my chief concern. Using my 101 as an example. It was over 15 years old when it needed repairs. But it could be repaired. I have to admit - when the built-in light meter goes - it can't be replaced (no parts). So it does happen to film cameras too. I just want it to be more than a few years.
Regarding that - does anyone know Nikon's and other Mfgr's support practices? I don't mind paying $1,200 for a camera I know I can use a long, long time -- I do mind paying $1,200 for (as VC says) a paperweight.