I use an AF 105mm f/2.8D Micro Nikkor, great lens, a bit slow to AF (D700, F100, N70) but very sharp. I tend to shoot from a tripod but I can definitely see the value of the VR lens. Bokeh (Japanese term meaning out of focus highlights) is a bit harsh and there are certainly better lenses that have beautiful bokeh but if you plan your image accordingly you can work around that slight failing.
As far as using it as a portrait lens...I think the harsh bokeh and the sharpness of this lens make me reach for my 28-105 a bit more. Not that you can't use it for portraits, just that I find it a bit too sharp. (My mother likes it when I use that lens with my Nikon Soft 1 filter for some of her pics.)
I think that used prices for this lens are a bargain, given the performance of this lens.