Here, some words from a guy that has been around Nikon-stuff for very long, read and think:
Click here http://www.bythom.com/nikon.htm and read what there is under these links at the very bottom of the page:
Concise DX Lens Opinions
Rationalizing Lens Choices 
Concise Digital Lens Opinions
Nikon Zoom Lens Overview
 is the most general one, applies to all brands of SLR’s.
All the text is about current Nikon lenses, but I think there is a lot that applies generally. Should give you some things to think about as you plan your purchases.
Especially note the fact that he evaluates lenses from a usability perspective; lenses that weigh less for long walks and climbing, midrange for those wishing good quality for least money and then up to pro and luxury…
|Silent focus motor inside lens||AF-S||USM||HSM||USD/PZD||DX II|
|Image stabilizer in lens||VR||IS||OS||VC||N/A|
|APS-C -designation||DX||EF?||DC||Di II||DX|
|Nikon sensor-sizes [mm]|