I had the AF-S 24-85 and I sold it here on Nikonians to get a DX lens, and I have regretted selling it every day since. It was a great lense. I don't know why they discontinued it over the other 24-85 either. It was cheap, small, sharp, quick and silent focusing.
I would pick up a used 24-85 AF-S now, But I think that I might end up regretting that within a year from now when I expect that Nikon will produce something more modern, with VR and with a longer range. So I plan to hold off and use my 24-70 2.8 and carry my 85mm 1.8 or 70-300 AF D (small and light) with it.