I purchased my copy of this lens early on from a Nikon sales rep. after spending 3 months on my normal suppliers waiting list, so I probably paid too much for it. It has a wonderful zoom range, is acceptably sharp. A great travel lens.
I'll disagree with "Wet Dog's" comment regarding the G version however, which is a significant improvement over the 'D' in several regards. This difference, I suspect, is due to the fact that I shoot 100% film bodies rather than digital bodies which only use the central portion of the lens objective, & primarily outdoors rather than under studio conditions.
The lenses rotating front element is a pain if you shoot split neutral density &/or polorizing filters. The Lens is also somewhat subject to flare when shooting towards the sun. Both of these drawbacks have been overcome in the 'G' version, which, (again on film bodies), is somewhat sharper than the 'D'. This may be due to the steadier handholding provided by the G's VR function.