Thanks for the link and info Al. My understanding of the gold ring is it signifies ED glass. I've got a couple in the 180 and 300mm.
I joined Diglloyd the other night per the previous Nikonians recommendation. He has a tremendous amount of info on his site, an excellent resource. Wish I had known about his site sooner.
At this point I'm seriously considering the Zeiss Distagon T21 F2.8 ZF.2 lens. It was recommended earlier, and Diglloyd has some great info on it. Since this would be the lens I would use most often I feel compelled to upgrade so I have absolutely no doubts when shooting. Only problem is I won't be able to blame my equipment if I don't like the output!
Like you, I'll need to do a thorough check with my existing lenses when I get the D800E and make decisions from there. I'm certainly not anticipating a need to do any other upgrades other than the Zeiss which should take care of me for quite a while. But we all know how this can change!