Pros VR allows shooting in low light with good results
Cons Unable to lock the lens so it extends by itself while walking
Summary I have been using this lens for 2 months and find it to be extremely versatile. Focus is fast and the VR is a great feature. I had been using a Tamron 28-300 and although it is a good lens the VR allows me to shoot in much lower light without the need for a tripod. I gain a good 4 stops due to the VR feature. The 18-200 range enables me to do the majority of my photography without having to change lenses. I am looking to buy a macro lens and will definitely get a Nikon VR lens when I do.
Pros Hey it's a Nikon
Cons Creepy Creepy
Summary I have absolutely no idea what the downside of a creepy lens is.
Pros great range, small, light, VR, M/A
Cons expensive, speed
Summary c|net released this review a little late... but here goes... this lens is a great all around lens. by no means is this a professional lens.
people keep complaining about distortion and lens creep, but distortion occurs with every zoom lens, and this one is not much different than the nikon 18-70mm zoom, and it doesn't matter much at all, because this is a digital only lens, meaning that you won't be able to use it on a film camera, also meaning you can correct it with a few easy steps.
lens creep is not an issue as long as you reset your lens to 18mm. lens creep happens with most zoom lenses that have the weight to do so.
Pros nearly ideal one-lens setup, Huge zoom range, compact and very good quality
Cons Expensive, backward zoom motion, occasional focus problems
Summary As the review points out the lens has flaws here and there but is a terrific solution for someone who wants a single lens for their SLR. That's the reason I bought it and I'm quite happy. Most of the time I use the camera, I usually don't have time to pick out a specific lens. The 18-200 allows me to grab the camera and go. Paired with a D40, it's a fairly compact solution for an SLR. The range is just HUGE. I can easily zoom from where I'm standing to my subject without moving. You'd really have to be a wildlife photographer to need much more zoom. Same goes for the wide angle although I can see getting something wider.
I had a Canon 20d with the 17-85mm zoom. Bigger body but smaller lens. I find the Nikon solution far more portable but I can't say I notice a huge difference in the photo quality which I think is in the Nikon's favor.
Call it a lifestyle lens. For it's flaws, most reviews I read dpreview, KenRockwell, praised the quality despite the flaws. I admit I'm not dedicated enough to always have the right lens on the camera for the occasion that pops up. I love having the SLR and the quality of the shots it provides and with this lens. When I did have multiple lenses, which I did until recently, I just didn't end up using most of them, even when it would have been more appropriate. I don't think I'm giving up much for the great results I get.
I can't definitively blame the lens for this but I do get my share of shots which aren't in focus. If the subject is moving, I still haven't perfected getting higher percentage of good shots.
I'm quite happy and would buy it all over again.
Pros Great range, VR very good, Light weight
Cons Variable aperture, plastic filter threads, soft at 200mm.
Summary I've been using this lens since the beginning 2007 on a Nikon D200 and then the D40x. This is a great 11x range lens for all day use inside or out. I've carried it for hours through parks and woods and used it for simple family gatherings. This lens is almost a permanent fixture on my Nikon D40x now. The VR is fantastic when shooting at or close to 200mm and it even works great for tracking shots of flying birds.
It can be very soft at 200mm and you need to watch your parallel lines at 18mm. But what the heck, for every day shooting it beats replacing the lens every 10 minutes.
A constant 2.8 aperature would be nice but it would probably push the cost up another $500 or more like the 70-200mm AF-S VR G. I would have liked a little more metal up front for the filter threads. You need to be very careful when changing the filters on this and all Nikon lenses with those nasty plastic threads. And watch out for temps below 20 degrees F. The AF-S lens motor sounded like a death rattle when I was shooting at my favorite lake with a temp at 12 degrees F.
But all in all I really like this lens, especially on a light weight camera body like the Nikon D40x. It can hang around my neck all day long without being a drag. And it makes pretty decent images. 11x power, VR up to 3-stops, light weight, pretty fast autofocus... not too many variable aperture zoom lenses can do it all but this one comes very close.