I bought this lens in December 2008 and after having extensively used it for the last 6 months I will be happy to share my personal opinion on this particular glass.
I still remember in 1986 when I just finished my high school Nikon announced their very first 600mm f/4 AI-S. For more than two decades, I'd been dreaming about this kind of lens : today my dream comes true !
Despite the short supply worlwide, I managed to get mine in just 24h from an authorised Nikon Australia !!! The owner of the shop personally came to deliver the special parcel to me !
Inside the tripple cartons, a lovely metal case :
It took me more than 5 minutes to unwrap the lens and its hoods !
I was very surprised by the size of the lens (from left to right : 600 VR, 200-400 VR & 70-200 VR).