I find it hard to answer. I both use the stabilized small aperture variant and the unstab. large aperture lens. Best thing would be to have the (at least) f2.8 stabilized variant, like the Nikon VR 70-200mm/f2.8: a lovely lens! But this is a budget- and carry-all problem...
You can see my
answer to your question in my signature: Go ahead with the smaller aperture stabilized lenses like the VR 18-200mm (which is hard to beat as an all-round lens) and get some cheapo large aperture prime-lens like the 50mm/f1.8.
One thing is clear: whereas there are tricks to get a sharp picture out of a small aperture non-stabilized lens (like using a tripod or high ISO) nothing
can give you the out-of-focus background like a large aperture lens. See some examples in my collection of shots with the 50mm prime here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/38912116@N ... 062304352/
Thomas (beware: Nikon-fanboy and moderator!) My Lens Reviews
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