>As far as I can tell the VRI lenses have the red "VR" and the VRII >have the gold "VR" paint This certainly seems true for the 18-200 >versions sold in South Africa. why would Nikon list the older 18-200 >as a VR and the newer model with lock switch as VRII.
Sorry, but as pointed out above, there is no correlation between the colour of the "VR" logo on the lens and the generation of VR.
In particular, both versions of the 18-200mm DX have the second generation of VR - i.e. "VR II". The "II" at the end of the lens title - AF-S DX 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G VR II tells us only that it is the second version of the lens, not which generation of VR it has