The difference of a few millimeters is significant at the wide side of focal length ranges. 18mm gives you a true wide angle capability on a DX sensor (27mm full-frame equivalent angle of view) vs. a wide-normal capability at 24mm (36mm equivalent).
The bundle's a very good deal, saving $100 over the cost of the 18-70mm alone.
I was in your shoes not long ago. I had the AFS24-85 that I used as a general purpose lens on my F100. I knew that for my self I would not be satisfied with the wide end on either the kit lens or the 24-85. With this mindset I knew that I would be destine for the 12-24DX in the future. So I decided to go with the body only and use my existing lens and plan to purchase the 12-24DX ASAP after I upgrade to the SB-800.
I bought the body only and the 12-24mm DX zoom as I too have the 24mm on up range covered. This is a very good lens and as 12mm on a D70 is equivlant to about an 18mm lens on an F5 I think it is well worth getting. It doesn't have that silky smooth feeling of the older Nikon ED lenses, but it feels OK. I believe the lens projects an image to cover the size of the CCD sensors and not the 36x24mm needed by the F5, so you will get vignetting (spelling?) if you use it on your F5. I'm not that familiar with an F5 but I believe it handles G series lenses without an aperature ring.
Thanks for all the suggestions. Well I decided to go with the body only. My darling wife of 22 years reminded me of this years sickness with NAS...F5, 70-200VR AFS, 24-85 AFS and misc other equipment and now a D70. That convinced me to wait for a MAJOR holiday or b-day to "need" something else.
A friend lent me his D70 with kit lens to compare to my 24-85. While there is a difference I can live with the lens I have until the wife's memory starts failing.
I got a D70 body only as I already had a 17-35mm lens and a 28-80mm G lens (the cheapo one). Just got a 24-85mm AFS lens and love it, and the good thing is it also works with my F80. Plus that the 18-70 is a DSLR lens ONLY. I think a lot of us have film cameras and will keep them for sometime as a backup and to shoot the odd velvia 50 slide, so having DSLR lenases is a bit restrictive.
I have the 24-85 which I've been using with my N80 and this week, when I got my D70, I decided to get the body only. My reasons were as follows:
1. The 18-70 is about a 27mm lens on the wide end and if I know my lensaholic tendancies, I know that if I want to take wide-angle photos over the long term, I will eventually be dissatisfied with 27mm and will want to purchase yet another lens that gets me wider. Maybe a 12-24. I know, I wanted more than my original 28-80 lens and even now, I wish I had something wider than 24mm on my N80, like the 18-35.
2. I love my 24-85 and I couldn't stand to see it forgotten about like a bad step child.
3. I still have my N80! It's just a different medium (film). But if I want to shoot something at 24mm (which is wider than that 27mm equivilent), I can use the film body. Heck, it might be better to shoot slow-speed film for a landscape than digital.
4. I have some expensive filters for my 24-85. I also didn't want to shell out an additional $50 for a UV filter for the 18-70 on top of the $300 for the lens.
4. I know what I tend to like to shoot. I like to shoot people and concerts. I look back at all of my prints and I don't have a lot of big group shots of people or landscapes taken at wide angles. Recognizing this about my shooting tendancies, I think I'll generally be fine with 24mm G lens as my widest lens.
5. I like the versatility of having lenses that work on a so-called "full frame" sensor or 35mm camera as well as my digital. I worry that a few generations of DSLR's in the future there might be "full frame" cameras out there and my D70 will be obsolete and my DX lens will become useless. There are wide angle lenses out there that are full frame.