Nice to see another Sarfie on the LL boards. Yes, the "premium" we have to pay in SA is a rather hot topic amongst those who buy camera equipment. It seems Nikon, and Canon, and all the others for that matter are more intent on strangling (or creaming) our photographic market rather than expanding it. They don't however appear to understand the power of the Internet, or the global marketplace, but I concede that they do know how to hang the service / repair threat over our heads! I know of 18 acquaintances two have purchased digital cameras during the last 24 months. Not one of them purchased inside SA. All of them bought either online, or overseas.
With the current exchange rate the D200 (body only) is actually closer to $2900, excluding any form of postage. Can you not get a friend to bring one in to SA for you? Buy it from B&H, ship it to a US address, and get them to walk it through. You'd save enough money to comfortably cover any service / repair issues. In fact, considering that you would be paying R17000+ for the body here, and then need at least two fast 2Gb cards and possibly a decent card reader, you might be better off buying a ticket to NYC, going to B&H yourself, and walking the kit through. You might even end up with some change over!
Are you aware of these three SA camera sites?www.outdoorphoto.co.zawww.sacamera.co.zawww.cameraguy.co.za
ODP is a local discussion forum as well, and you find find other SAfricans who have tried the D200.