I keep reading that the lens gets bashed, but I'm not sure who is doing this bashing. All the review sources that I respect - places like photozone.de, dpreview, Thom Hogan, even Ken Rockwell, have had positive things to say about the price/performance capabilities of this lens though obviously recognizing it's limitations. And any lens with it's very aggressive zoom range is going to have significant limitations, but it is still capable of producing very nice, compelling photographs. For what it is designed to be: a light, don't want to carry a bunch of stuff when I travel and don't want to miss a shot lens, it performs respectably. Clearly, there are situations where you don't want to use a lens like this, but it fills it's use case niche very nicely. I've taken numerous trips on which I've carried several lenses in addition to the 18-200 and never used those other lenses. It focuses well, and quietly, the VR is great, the color is very nice, and I'm not going to torture myself by peeping into the corners of an image to see how well it resolved in those areas. When I stand back and look, I've got a keeper.