Originally Posted by Seaseme
isn't D temporary pivot editing? It doesn't actually allow you to change the pivot point of the object. It just resets when you select a different object.
long ago D key was temporary pivot for object mode but as far as i know from 2008 the d key does permanent pivot editing for object mode.
for component(vertex,edge,face) selection D key is temporary. also in 2009 when you select component mode and press D you should also see a tiny blue circle on top of the manipulator and clicking it will make that the fixed pivot for any further component selection of any object. it is a toggle so you can click it again and any vertex selection u do again the pivot will go back to center of selection. the temporary component pivot is very handy for posing a character without actually rigging it.