Sun 18-Nov-12 11:41 PM | edited Sun 18-Nov-12 11:46 PM by Drbee
So I guess from the answers here there are lots of truths. What you are witnessing is that lots of different shooting styles and situations result in different lens requirements.
I don't know if my shooting situation is unique, but I'll reiterate that I find VR very useful in my travel photography. The reason is that moving subjects are typically not a consideration in that kind of photography for me; whereas dark interiors, crowds, quick setup times, and even darker museums, churches, landmarks and mosques are typical. A UWA option is useful to get the image once you force your way to the front of the crowd. The f/4 aperture is a nice aperture to deliver a good DOF for an UWA image and the VR in effect provides a more stable platform where tripods are just not possible. In these situations, it's not uncommon for me to be shooting at ISO1600-3200 and shutter speeds of 1/15s or lower for the extreme cases.
There are also those situations where the lighting is a bit better and I can get the picture with my lenses without VR, but my 16-35 has opened up so many more possibilities that I'm really happy to have it and VR is not a detriment.
OTOH, I have a Fujifilm X100 with a fixed 35mm f/2 lens and I'm often shooting that at ISO1600-3200, f/2 and T=1/8s (sometimes longer) and it does not have VR. However it also has a leaf shutter, fits my hand well, is smallish and can be easily balanced on some rigid prop or like Bob - against my forehead leaning against a wall. Good technique is always handy. You've got to know your application.
Roger It's still, ISO, aperture and shutter-speed, right?