Didn't trust the source, so didn't buy it.
Thanks guys -- I think I will go ahead and purchase the D40 with the 18-55mm II kit lens soon and then when I feel that I've waited long enough or see a nice enough deal I will most likely buy a 18-200mm VR.
Hi, I bought myself the D40 standard kit as well and I went a couple of month later for the 55-200 VR.
My experience could not be better, I have very little time lately but I want to publish a "review" with my impression and experience during my holidays in Babaria and London.
The 18-55 is extremely light with a more than acceptable optical quality (the more if you come from compacts), combine this with the light body of the D40 and you've got probably the lightest general purpose dSLR kit in the market. You'll be capable of taking some great shots with this lens, it focus quickly and quietly and the zoom ring is always at hand for confortable use, mind though that this lens was definitively NOT designed thinking about manual focusing aficionados, the tiny grip surrounding the rotating front element is all but useless and suitable only for emergencies.
The 55-200 VR must surely be the greatest lens deal in the market nowadays
, this piece of glass is just terrific! The VR, even if it's not the latest version it's light years from being obsolete, works great and really helps (or saves the day!) when shooting with the lens fully zoomed in and/or when when lighting is poor and longer exposures are needed. Even if the build quality is similar (if not equal) to that of the 18-55mm, once attached in the body it seems better, if only a step or two above: It comes with a hood, it has G R E A T ergonomics (huge, precise and confortable zoom ring), fixed front element that allows to use any filter you want, and extremely reassuring (as Gordon always points out when reviewing stabilized lenses) through-the-lens VR... The bottom line is that I always like it when I have to switch to this lens and a bit sorry when I need to switch back to the 18-55mm, it's that good!
It's not all good news of course, I don't mind changing lens when needed but I must confess that there's been many an occassion in which I've longed to own the 18-200 VR
, to the point that I ended up missing or renouncing a shot because I didn't have the proper lens attached at the moment (sigh). The greater confort and flexibility of the 18-200 VR is undeniable, but if you've got a tight budget and/or you're new to SLR as I was when I bought them, then the combination of these two lenses will give you more than enough to play with at an almost unbeatable price, and the most important thing, you'l get excellent results.