Bob, off topic but... Recently in Leh, Ladakh, India I ran into a Frenchman wearing the D700, 17-35 2.8 (sans hood ) around his neck on a Nikon D700 strap. Turns out he is a professional travel writer/ photog. Back at the hotel he had an 85 1.4G and 24 1.4 and that was his professional kit.
I immediately thought of you and all of your travelling with the 17-35! . Cheers, Tom