Thanks all for the input. If my third copy of the Canon 24-70 II arrives subpar, I will be switching over to Nikon indefinitely. Although Canon has its advantages, I feel like the current feature set of Nikon might be more suitable for my intended progression.
If this ends up being the case, what do you think of the following setup for a Nikon noob:
70-200 f/2.8 VR II
and one SB-910.
With this setup my approach is minimalist and versatility, with the intention of covering my bases for anything from weddings to landscapes, and even to sports...
Your story is almost exactly like my story. I just got to feel that I (and everyone else) was not getting any younger and at my stage in life, I was no longer willing to just wait for Canon to enter the high MP game. I do landscapes and seascapes and every time I go out and shoot I can choose to pick up a Nikon bag or a Canon bag. I've been a Canon shooter for about 9 years and a Nikon shooter for less than a year. But in my own testing using one of my actual landscape locations I've compared all the lenses of both Canon and Nikon. I miss my 17 tse Canon lens and the dual axis 24 tse Canon lens. The Nikon 24 tse is ok but I really enjoy using the Nikon 14-24 which is very versatile. The extra resolution and much higher dynamic range of my Nikon is much better than my Canon work. I have both the D800 and D800e and I prefer the "E" model, although I keep it for special occasions (like really good weather).
Right now I'm having a focusing problem with the D800 and the 24-70 (needs -20 af adjust at 70), but I'll send it into Nikon. My D800e doesn't have the problem. By the way, if you can afford to, you CAN keep your Canon equipment and just choose to shoot Nikon. I really feel that Canon will come around sometime in the next 2-4 years and deliver (actually deliver - not just announce) a high MP camera (over 40mp). Then I will once again enjoy all my great Canon lenses plus my Nikon lenses (because Nikon lenses CAN fit - with Noveflex adapters - Canon bodies). I hope you enjoy your Nikon experience.