The so called "backwards compatibility" of Nikon lenses with Nikon mounts is just that the lens fits in the body, full stop.
Your mileage may vary, as I always point out, but for me, at this present moment, I am using a 40 year old + 105mm Non- AI nikkor on my Nikon DSLR, and it works *great* for me. My previous "workhorse" 35mm cameras were the FM and FM2, so using my DSLR in manual mode is not a huge step up from the FM2.
another issue for me is I have a small fortune invested in adaptors & parts allowing me to hook up my Nikon film bodies to my telescopes (C8, 80mm ED and 145mm Mak-newt) for finding out that my Nikon DSLR fits just perfect with absolutely no messing around is a huge advantage for me. From first hand experience I can tell you the same is not true for other brands of DSLRs.
So for me, in my specific case, Nikon IS 100% backwards compatible. Again, your mileage may vary.
SENSOR TECHNOLOGY, which I guess they can quite lead it, now canīt they?
That I agree with, and in fact, that was my first thought - if Nikon is going to brag about their high end SONY CCD sensor (or CMOS sensors) used in their DSLRs, and then SONY starts making DSLRs....hmmmm...... As others have pointed out, interesting times ahead.
My main point however is this - I believe most people on this forum will know of the Minolta/SONY connection. However, from a strickly business point of view, the SONY name, in my opinion, has been misused/tarnished over the past few years by allowing the name to appear on low end consumer products. It will take time to overcame that "loss" of face, or however you want to call it.
Also, putting the Zeiss name behind the SONY camera is not, IMO, a perfect guarantee of anything. Direct example- Kodak using the Schneider name on their lenses. On my 4x5 large format cameras, my Schenider lenses are some of the finest I own, but when I saw them appear on Kodak point & shoot digitals, my first thought was NOT -" hey, Kodak is getting better."
No, quite the opposite, my first thought was "hey, what the heck is wrong with Schneider? Better start moving over to Rodenstock LF lenses I guess."
Again - your milage may vary, but there's an old rule in business that was first termed in the day of Elizabeth the First that goes "bad money drives out good", which in this case means that using a good brand name with a lesser brand name does not always mean you go up, it may mean you go down in perception.
Last comment - I am looikng forward towards the new SONY, not bashing it at all, just pointing out that I bought a SONY DVD/VCR player that turned out to be a piece of complete crap a few years ago, and yes I know it's a different animal/thing altogether, but I think they will ahve some time overcoming perceptions like this, especillay outside this forum where people are not as well educated about the issues.