Had several Nikkor tele zooms, but I've stopped changing once I bought my first 70-300VR. Liked it so much that I bought another one last month for my film body.
Not going to repeat what has already been said (but yes, it is excellent until 200mm, and very good at 300; focuses fast on new bodies like the D7000; and it is a bit dark), I would like to add that:
It is very good for macro, and will autofocus with an inexpensive Zeikos extension tube set. I use it to picture butterflies, using 40mm of extension tubes and a SB600 handheld from above-leftish (I just extend my arm).
Fantastic bokeh when wide open, at any zoom length. Even at the short end (70mm F/4) it shows excellent bokeh, while keeping the focused part razor sharp. My favorite portrait lens, even when compared to some F/1.8 I have, beacuse although they do unfocus a lot at 1.8, the *quality* of the bokeh is not so good, leaving some hard hexagonal points of light that I find disturbing - where the round blades of the 70-300VR's diaphragm produce a creamy, defocused area.
Works perfect on any dSLR, even on cheap D40s and other cameras lacking a focus motor.
The only real con is that, not only it lacks a tripod colar, it's not possible to add one. The idea is that it's VR and relative lghtweight will solve any speed problems. True in large part, but there are situations when I want a tripod, and it unbalances even a heavy D3 towards the front. Would sugest to make a tripod collar available as an optional, that is, leaving the lens with a space to attach one.
I also note that, as expected, it requires a newer body to take full advantage of the AF and VR systems. Film users should notice that it focuses much slower on my old N70 than on the state-of-the-art D7000, and VR only works on a handful of film cameras.
For the price, you can't go wrong. It's the best bang for the buck tele for FX/film; and on a cropped DX sensor like the 16MP DX sensor of the D7000, you effectivelly get the equivalent of 450MM, which is pretty long, in a lens that fits in a large coat pocket - making it the ultimate "zoo lens".