They can bash all they want. I really don't care what anyone here thinks of my photography knowledge. I have little to none and will gladly admit it. I do like to look at a variety of sources, and Rockwell's comments about that particular lens and the use of VR in general seemed useful. If someone wants to bash me for that, maybe I'll learn even more!
Rich - I just got the lens and don't expect to get a good chance to shoot from the boat any time soon. I also doubt that you could use my shots for a valuable comparison, as I'm not good enough to setup the scene and gear to get apples-apples. I do believe what your saying to be mostly true, most of the shots with the standard lens were sharp enough for my eyes. My upgrade was "free", Costco changed the kit lens before my 90 days was up.
At any rate, the focal range on the 55-200 (VR or not), seems to make for a great budget lens for on and off the boat.
These aren't so great, but handy and demonstrate the range of the lens.
(Message edited by mammoth on November 28, 2007)