Got the 200/2 VR today. I went walk-around with it, would you believe it. Of course, the first place I walked to was a photo store to look at monopods. I was so desperate at that point (I could feel sweat running on my back) that I just paid whatever they wanted - the monopod I got turned out to be nice (GM3551). I wanted a tall one so that I could point it at an angle up, for stage situations, without having to bend down. It's very lightweight and folds to a small package. The lens handles very nicely; there are no obvious CAs, the VR is effective and there is very little VF jitter when it is active; autofocus is fast and accurate, and the lens is hand-holdable in the sense that shots can be taken and they look nice, but really, you don't actually want to be doing it! I was hoping that with the TC-14E II I would be able to get a decent 280/2.8 with VR. Turns out the VR is very jumpy with the TC attached, it's as if it were just programmed all wrong for use with the TC. The results of my initial testing hand-held and with a monopod suggested that with the TC, it's best to leave the VR off and use other support. This is very disappointing - I would have expected that this grade of a lens is sufficiently sophisticated that the VR is designed to work well with a TC. The viewfinder image tends to jump so much that it's difficult to get predictable compositions. With VR off, framing seems easier (on monopod), thankfully. I am hoping to do some real-world concert shooting tests and see how well the TC works with this lens, with VR out of the game. I don't have very high hopes though, I don't seem to be a person who's happy with any TC rig. On a tripod, the lens handles much easier than on a monopod or hand-held. Image quality is beautiful. The best aperture appears to be between f/4 and f/5.6, but even f/2 is very, very good. I think I will mostly be using it on a tripod - it just is more comfortable that way, and I can rest my hands. The monopod will be used in situations where I am shooting in such a tight crowd that using a tripod is simply not possible, but I'll have to practice on monopod technique. I'm wondering if the 300/2.8 VR actually is useable with VR active? I suppose it must be, otherwise there'd be no point. I'm not going to swap to it, but I might have chosen differently if I had suspected the VR functionality with TC to be so poor. I know - I should've done my research better.