This looks to be a stellar lens. Even though I have the 70-200VRII, I will probably get this lens. 70-200mm is my most used range for outdoor events. Oftentimes I shoot at f/4 or f/5.6 anyway, as 200mm at f/4 gives plenty of subject isolation. And the lower weight will make a difference on a long event.
I don't understand the complaints about the tripod collar. So, Nikon decided to design one and offer it for the few folks who need it, what would be wrong with that. I will certainly not need it. My 24-70 weighs more than the 70-200 f/4, and I never needed a tripod collar on that, nor did I hear anybody complain that Nikon does not offer one for it. Or for the 70-300VR which is only slightly lighter than the 70-200 f/4.