The 20,000 views are not an indication of a fault, merely a topic that is of interest to many non members (Guests). They read the answers, try the suggestions, fix the problems and go away, or they may join the forum to thank us.
If you look at this Topic it started on June 11, 2008 and was reactivated on August 03, 2008, February 11, 2009, August 19, 2012 and finally by you on July 19, 2014, a period of over 6 years. It also has been raised in numerous other posts, back to 2004. As far as I can remember almost all the people who had this problem were able to solve it. This problem has existed since the first interchangeable lens cameras were introduced. The most frequent cause by far is dirty or oxidised contacts. The second most frequent cause is a wrong setting on the camera and the third is trying to use an incompatible lens or non AF lens. Another problem is a malfunction in the camera, however that is not very common, relative to the times the error appears.
You wrote in your last post "First, I'm an engineer, I work through the options to try to eliminate them". If that is meant to prove that you are above making errors in judgement, then I am not impressed. As an Engineer you should know better. I am a retired Civil engineer and I have a three year diploma as an Electronics Engineering Technologist. Does that make me any better or more knowledgeable than the members on this forum? No it does not! I am in awe at the photographic abilities of many of our members, I often wish I was half as good.
As I said before, After exhausting all possible reasons that will allow a user to fix the error, take it to Sony and have them diagnose it. The camera is as you say, a nearly new camera, so the warranty should be available. If you bought it used you may not have a warranty, so I would advise you to take it to a technician and have it diagnosed. Finally, if you are a Electronics Engineer, then perhaps you could open the camera and fix it yourself.