>It's simply optics -- you can't produce a lens of that zoom >range that's sharp at all focal lengths, light weight, fast >and inexpensive enough for consumer use. >
Thanks a bunch for the prompt replies on my lens choice. I was leaning towards the 18-200 but after reading your replies I’ll buy the 16-85 now and a prime later for night shots. I realize after shooting with the Coolpix 5700 for the last decade I have been using the telephoto portion of the zoom as a crutch and I want to break myself of this habit. I do shoot lots of landscape photos and the 16-85 will help in that regard.
I also have a wife who has her doubts on how my $1700 camera and lens will really be THAT much better than her 5MP Kodak point and shoot. I guess I’ll have to impress her