Basically I am curious how people get good skintones from the Nikon. How it is done, how much work it is, if it can be (largely) automated, and how close the end look is.
There really is no exact formula for getting great skintones from any digital camera. You can get to pleasing color with base adjustments in a converter but for exact looks it takes local adjustments. That's why photoshop has layers and why God made retouchers.
We just finished an ad for a sports campaign of 5 people, all caucasian and though there are adjustments that get decent color, in the final post work, it took a great deal of local corrections.
Personally, I think overall the Canon 1ds3 has the most pleasing skin tones and seems to require less work in post, but a lot of this comes down to personal preference and how exacting you are about color and look.
There is no single holy grail but I do find for finish, to send an image to retouching, regardless of camera Raw Developer produces the best look. In fact I find it interesting that I like the Phase files processed in Raw Developer better than in Phase's own software, though I find C-1 to do well on both the Canon and Nikon files, though once again, this is a matter of personal preference.
To me, none of the digital files out of camera look like film, (and that covers a lot of territory), as to me overall digital is flat and just has a more global color look than film and always requires more post work to emulate a film look.
What we show at the start of the shoot to what we deliver in final, is usually way different. It shouldn't be but it is.
When it comes to digital cameras of any make, any format, retouching and printing are the great equalizers.