I received my 55-300 this week. I love it for starters. The reach is wonderful and the pictures are crisp. I have not tried it in low light yet. I took it to the Scott AFB air show yesterday. I will attach a couple of pictures.
It is a little slow to focus but not significantly so. The zoom is very tight so there is not lens creep. It does reduce some of the smoothness of zoom because of that.
The metal mount is strong and the lens over all feels sturdy. The lens hood has a new mount, it snaps on and has two areas to press to release. Much more like the lens cap now than simulating the bayonet mount like the lens. It does snap on back wards easily for storage. The lens is not heavy. It is more so than the 55-200 and is longer.
My over all impression is it is a great lens. Excellent IQ. The VRII is superior. I did not have a blurred picture in over 200 that I took with it.
I had been planning on a 70-300 VR until this lens came out. I took a gamble as no one had reviewed it yet. I am not disappointed. It is lighter and shorter than the 70-300. So far I am VERY pleased.