9 out of 10 points and recommendedSharpness, VR, costslight corner-softness
Upgraded to this lens after the autofocus motor on my 18-55 II failed. Proved to be an excellent decision as the lens is a considerable improvement over the old D40 kit lens.reviewed November 16th, 2008 (purchased for $290)
Optical quality is stellar; delivering sharp, contrasty images. Sharpness is consistent throughout its range, and excellent even when wide open.
Construction quality is good, despite the plastic mount; VR and autofocus operations are virtually silent.
VR performs admirably, helping the lens deliver great low-light performance.
There is some minor corner-softness and distortion, but not really noticeable unless you go looking for it.
All in all, this lens is a worthy addition to Nikon's lineup, and the best bang for the buck you can currently get.