I am amazed by the sensors and software technology in the D3100, D5100 and D7000. I am also amazed by the technical quality of Nikon's cheap plastic non-Japanese built DX lenses such as the 18-55mm VR, 40mm Macro and 18-200mm VR. If the D300s replacements sensor and software technology can "take it up a few notches" to give us 24 megapixels for increased sharpness and a stop or two improvement in low light Image Quality then I think a slightly downsized D3 type body would make excellent sense.
Nikon should also design some DX f2.8 (or f4) "pro" lenses to match such as a mid-range zoom and a 70-210 zoom. "Pros" will not wanted to be limited to f3.5-5.6 zooms. Basically, Nikon could produce a professional system which weighs less and costs less than the current FX based system. In the "olden" days metal camera's would easily last more than 10 years. But today digital technology changes so fast that if a camera body is 10 years old you shouldn't be shooting with it anymore because much cheaper "plastic" equipment produces much better Image Quality. For example, a $700 D3100 produces better Image Quality than a $5,000 ten year old D1H.
I suggest a name for this new line of Nikons: Pro Lite
So we would have Nikon Consumer point and shoot cameras, Nikon Semi-Pro or Advanced Amateur, Nikon Pro-Lite and Nikon Pro lines. The replacement for the D700 could be a plastic body in the Nikon Semi-Pro or Advanced Amateur line and the replacement for the Nikon D300s could be in the new Nikon Pro-Lite line.
I hope Nikon does it!