Lots on interesting input from current users perspective except for the fact that Pentax most likely sold in every Top 5 Japanese cities more 645Ds and expensive lenses (not just 25mm but also the almost equally expensive FA * 300/4 and FA 400/5.6) than in both Americas from Arctic circle to Tierra del Fuego. If there is an amateur market for them it is there not in the West. Let's wait a few weeks and after Photokina we will have a better perspective about every major MF manufacturer offering as a system.
I dig Pentax and think about buying the 645 d all the time.
The deal killer for me is they don't have tethering software, (though I hate to tether), they don't have a huge selection of lenses, they don't have a removable prism and most of all they're are few of their systems in rental studios.
Now with that in mind I respect the hell out of what they did. The first medium format camera with a useable lcd, medium weather sealing and most of all a 10 grand price tag. They also have that wonderful 40mpx kodak sensor that really will go to higher iso, like the h4d 40.
The problem is for almost the price I can buy a refurbished h4d40 that does have a software suite, that is in rental and though getting a little old in the tooth, performs professionally well.
The other problem is I used medium format less than any other camera and my contax bodies, phase backs keep chugging along and nobody complains, they're also profitable as I've billed them out way past purchase price and I love the Contax, except the view through the prism finder.
With the waist level finder it's perfect and the shutter is very smooth.
I really do think in the professional world the $30,000, $40,000, and $50,000 camera systems are a thing of the past for the professional. Nikon and Canon have pretty much killed off that thought in todays world economy.
Anyway, I've worked in Japan about 6 times and I'm miles away from being an expert on Japanese culture and business practices, I do know they are fiercely loyal to their own companies and everywhere I go I see amateurs with older Mamiyas and Pentax of all formats shooting flowers and scenics and taking hours upon hours for one shot, so I can understand why the 645 Pentax sells well in Japan.