Cagger, A couple days ago I got the 28-300 and agree, it's significantly bigger than the 18-200. I bought this thinking I would pull the trigger on the D600. (I did and the D600 came in the mail last night but I only tested some lenses and have no real opinion, other than the LR RAW beta may not be optimized or I have some import prestes to work on, all images had a slight yellow cast in RAW but all jpeg's were fine)
>The weight of the 28-300 is too great to keep it still
You may be surprised as I was. I did about 10 hand held test shots the night I got the 28-300. I was getting sharp images at iso 6400 at 300mm and 1/15 sec on the D7000. I thought it was amazing. I think the VR works better than that on my 18-200 even though both are VRII. Obviously very subjective but the point is the VR works great and consider giving it a chance.
BTW in my opinion the IQ at least sharpness with the 28-300 is very good. In the center it seemed comparable to my pro quality lenses. I did notice softening at the edges even when I stopped down but it did improve and the actual images I took with this lens seemed comparable to the 18-200. The pro glass is definately better at the edges but this glass is still very impressive for such a zoom factor.
I guess what I'm try to say is you bought FX,... lenses are going to be heavier, consider giving it a chance before looking for alternatives.
"Cameras and lenses are simply tools to place our unique vision on film. Concentrate on equipment and you'll take technically good photographs. Concentrate on seeing the light's magic colors and your images will stir the soul." Jack Dykinga