Thank you very much for your comparison of the 14n and 1Ds.
Oddly, the 1Ds images looked worse than I've come to expect from mine, but there are so many variables that it is hard to make a firm statement about that. Even so, the 14n appeared to my eyes considerably worse in most every way: noise, resolution, color accuracy, dynamic range, chromatic aberration (though I am still convinced that this is almost entirely lens related, not sensor related), odd digital artifacts, etc. Further, I'm wondering whether the testing procedure went easy on the 14n; I wonder whether differences would have been greater if the 1Ds had had its mirror locked (nor an option on the 14n, apparently), and if both cameras had prime lenses to reveal as much as possible. On the other hand, perhaps, somehow, the 14n just needs to work out the kinks, and/or perhaps there was some hidden way in which the 14n was handicapped. If the 1Ds samples looked oddly off to me, perhaps the same could have been true to an even greater degree with the 14n. But I don't think so; I have fair confidence in Michael's competence at testing. I'm just trying to give the 14n the benefit of the doubt.
I guess it's too early to say, either way, but I can't deny that I came away from reading the review with definite conclusions about what I saw.
I'm sure glad that I got the 1Ds, instead of the 14n. I really did want the 14n to be good, though. I wanted a good Nikon family camera to drive down the price of the 1Ds, so that I could buy a second one for less than I paid for the first. Also, even though I've switched to Canon (and I'm liking the Canon side better, so far), I haven't sworn off Nikon forever. I still prefer the Nikon ergonomics. I even kept my favorite Nikon lens.
I'm no expert in the matter, but, it doesn't seem to me that there is much that 14n firmware updates will be able to do to improve the output of an intrinsically noisy sensor. Is there something more to be done than somehow make the noise-reduction algorithms a little less artificial looking?
P.S. Michael, you were right! Now that I am running my own photography forum on photo.net, I see that people really are a lot more interested and responsive to articles about gear than to articles about doing photography.