I bought this lens just now from Adorama.com for $169.95 plus shipping, totaling $176.90. The same total price as at Amazon.com (who offer it for $176.94 but free Super Saver slow shipping.) I figure this way a) I’ll give some business to Adorama instead of Amazon; and b) I’ll get it a little faster.
This lens’ purpose is to hold me over until I can buy this 18-200mm lens without a six-month wait. The 18-200 will be $750 bucks but a) it will keep dust off my CCD since I’ll seldom need to change lenses; b) it will have VR (seemingly useful at 2oomm); c) it will have a slightly wider maximum aperture; d) it will have manual-focus-override-on-demand; e) it will have an easier-to-grab focus ring.
Shooting a lot with this 55-200 will show me which of those 18-200 benefits are really important to me.