I am selling mine after just a week. Agreed it takes great shots, great focusing, good IQ and sharpness but i find the lens heavy and large and the range small. Its not something i'd like to carry around with me when travelling or on the street. The 55mm end isn't nearly as good for portraits as say an 85 and the 17 not necessarily wide enough on a digital body for landscapes and architechture. For my personal style, i'd rather slap something like a 35 F2 or a 28mm prime on the end and be a bit more disciplined, maybe keep a wider prime in my jacket pocket.
definitely better wide open and I find it to be a great lens stopped down as well. Then add the additional reach and it does not come of the d200 until i want to go really long, or macro, or super wide.
It is just as nice a people lens as it is a landscape lens. I tried the beast and the 17-55 just was where I needed to be. For landscapes, which I love. The 17-35 was just too much of a one trick pony for me. The 17-55 is a great landscape, people, walking around, stay on my camera lens. With the cost of these puppies a versatile f2.8 lens is a very desireable piece of glass.
The 17-55: one of my favorite Nikon lenses of all-time. One of the few lenses I paid near retail for. Of course, my results aren't near the original poster's image, but that not because of the lens. Despite its heft and size, I still lug it around as my preferred "travel" lens. I think its perfect for weddings. Its nice to have that extra width in tight rooms. I have confidence using it wide-open. That is something I can not say about my 85mm f1.4, 50mm f1.8, or 35mm f2.0.
Oh, one more thing. Compared to my Nikon 17-35mm, the 17-35 was slightly sharper at 17, but not as sharp at 35. I have since sold the 17-35, ultimately in favor for the 17-55.