Tue 07-Aug-12 05:24 AM | edited Tue 07-Aug-12 05:25 AM by avm247
Ed, first, welcome to Nikonians!
My, second lens purchase was a fast fifty: AF 50mm f/1.8 Nikkor. Mine predates the update with the D-chip. Great lens!
As far as gray (parallel import) vs. official import, it comes down to warranty. Nikon USA will not perform any warranty work on a gray market lens. If you need to have any work done on it, you will need to go to a third party repair facility (authorized repair facilities will work on gray market lenses). Having said that, there isn't a lot to go wrong with a prime (single focal length) lens, especially a fifty.
Personally, I would get the official version with the 1 year warranty + 4 year extended warranty for not much more.
Personally, I purchase from Berger Bros. or B&H Photo Video. Adorama and KEH is also reputable. There are many others.
Regardless of where you buy or what you buy, ALWAYS check the online retailer at www.resellerratings.com. NEVER buy on price alone.