David - The old focus issues concerned the left sensors not providing accurate focus. The newer bodies (including the D800E) seem to have this issue under control now.
Yes, I use the 24-70mm lens extensively. Until a few months ago I was using two D700 bodies, and one body was married to the 24-70 with two other lenses -- the 14-24 and 70-200 VRII -- being used depending on the situation. I now have two D800 bodies and am preparing to sell the D700s. I will do the same with them -- one bearing the 24-70 and the other for the other lenses. Right now though, I am using one body, as I am 7 weeks from rotator cuff surgery and it is painful to tote two bodies. But within weeks I expect to be back to carrying them both when shooting.
The 24-70: as it is an f2.8 lens, I find little real need for VR. Would I like it? You bet, especially if it is as good as the 70-200mm f2.8 VRII. I'll upgrade if Nikon ever makes that move. In the meantime, I guess I have a steady grip (even at age 69) and get a majority of tack sharp images. With either the D800 or previously the D700, if I need more shutter speed, I push the ISO up. The 24-70 is inherently very sharp and entirely satisfactory.