If you have Nikon (unlike me!) then what's the best choice for a prosumer right now? Probably the d40x based on "DPReview.com":http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/nikond40x/page14.asp. It is a 10 megapixel camera and streets for just $600. Plus the kit lenses are good. The "18-135":http://www.bythom.com/18135lens.htm is sharp, but has big problems with vignetting and with chromatic aberration plus distortion. It's only the equivalent of $100 extra compared with a body according to "Pricegrabber":http://cameras.pricegrabber.com/digital/m/34451887/sort_type=bottomline
So the better choices are the "18-55":http://www.bythom.com/1855lens.htm which is a ok intermediate lense. The main issues are at 55mm, it is a very slow F/5.6 and it is OK sharp, but not great. It also has vignetting. So not a great choice for a real prosumer.
There is an "18-70":http://www.bythom.com/1870lens.htm that is quite a bit better for an additional $300 from a body. It is a much sharper lense than the 18-55. Like 18-55 and the 18-105, it has vignetting problems. It is F/4.5 at 70mm, so that's not terribly bad.
If you can afford the $800, the "18-200":http://www.bythom.com/18200lens.htm is the lense to get. It has vibration reduction and great sharpness and ok vignetting. From Popular Photography, we know it can't compete with the very best professional lenses, but it is great for the high end consumer. It does have a complicated distortion issue, so you'd need "DxO":http://dxo.com to fix that.
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