Got this one during the 20% sale a little while ago. It's now my favorite zoom lens. It blew me away at a dance production with a dark stage and a 1.4 extender [facebook.com]
. While taking pics of the cats in the yard today I declared that it is worth every penny. I have a lot of catching up to do to use this lens to its fullest potential.
And yup, it's beastly for handholding for an extended time and trying to fit into a camera bag. For more compact stuff w/o spending $400+ or getting an f/5.6 max ap, I've been happy with the classic 70-210mm f/4 that goes for ~$130.
Now in the process of selling the 70-200 f/2.8L non-IS version and the 70-300L IS to Adorama