>I know the point of going FX is kinda lost here, and this >24-85 might not make the D600 justice, but, as I said, times >are tight.
I don't agree with this. My photo's above were shot on a D800 and I cannot find any issues with the image quality. The 24-85 VR is a gem and is very inexpensive to boot.
As for your query on lens selection, I'll answer your question with a question. Do you plan on shooting a lot of Video with your D600? If so, definitely grab the 24-85 VR. The VR is very effective in reducing the minor camera shakes. My 24-70 has no VR and watching video that I took handheld on my big screen TV will make you nauseous due to the camera shakes.
If you look on the for sale forum now, someone is selling a unused one for $450, go snatch it up and not look back.