Well, I've just been playing with my recently acquired 70-210 f4-5.6 (non D version). It cost all of 38 uk pounds. I did my usual tests - tripod, mirror delay, target 40 feet away etc. I'm astonished by the sharpness, colour and contrast from the cheap lens. This is not to say I now hate my 18-200 - It's still my walkaround lens of choice. However, for more serious tripod mounted stuff, the 70-210 would be my lens of choice at those focal lengths. Interestingly, the 70-210 also has more reach than the 18-200: 200mm on the 18-200 at 40 feet is about equivalent to 180mm at the same distance on the 70-210 - I know it's a feature of the lens design. Now, given my preference not to lug a tripod around, I'd be interested to know if anyone has compared the 70-210 (4-5.6) with the 70-300VR for those situations where I'm looking for higher quality than the 18-200 but don't want to / can't use a tripod. While sharpness is a factor for me, I tend to be more interested in colour & contrast (CS2 only goes so far in sorting low contrast & washed out colour without spending stupidly large amounts of time fixing things).