Picking up our '02 RR MDX tomorrow but have owned Honda's in the past. Currently our '96 Accord EX does the exact same thing...backing out of the driveway, shifting from R to D takes approx. .5 seconds before transmission grabs. Makes you think twice about backing out in front of large, swiftly moving trucks.
We have the same slight delay...at first I thought it was slippage, but it's relly just an engagement delay. It's been like that since day 1 and has been checked out by dealer + independent tranny expert and it is normal/fine.
I guess I'm with DaleB. Haven't heard a peep under my hood. I haven't checked my transmission fluid level lately, but I know on my '87 Mercedes 300E, when the fluid level is low, it takes 2-3 seconds to engage (becomes troublesome when I'm at an intersection waiting for a green light, shifting from neutral to drive).
The 1-2 second shifting on the MDX is quick in comparison (and I've never really noticed the delay). I guess it's time for me to change the ATF (Honda ATF, of course).