I had one of those 43-86 zooms. It would be the worst Nikkor lens that I've ever used when it was in "original working order". Soft, lots of CA, crazy distortion for a 2x zoom. Forgetting the optics completely, it was pretty well made, except for zoom creep. As far as the 55-200s go, the VR version is a gem. If it was to fall to pieces in a few years, who cares? Optically it is quite good, and for dx, there's nothing smaller and lighter that gives 200mm reach. It is miles ahead optically of any of the 70-300 AF Nikkors - apart from the new VR, and even that is not very good at the 300mm end, quite expensive, and only a fraction of a stop less slow at 200mm than the 55-200 (F5.3 vs F5.6). I wish Nikon would make a 70-200 f4 VR, like the excellent Canon lens. Half the weight of an f2.8, and 95% of the time just as good.