Almost every professional photographer in the world has owned one of these. Why? Simple, It’s built like a tank and the results are always excellent. I’ve no idea how old this one is - it wasn’t new when I bought it, but it feels like it will go on forever. I haven’t replaced it with one of the newer versions because it’s so good with everything - film or digital, Nikon or Fuji.
I’m in the process of changing to Canon but can’t bring myself to sell it. It’s like an old friend and has never let me down, ever. The only downside I can think of is that it’s quite big and heavy, but then so is every other 70 or 80-200 2.8.
I’ve tested this against my brand new Sigma 70-200mm EX DG HSM - Sigma v Nikon - and it’s hard to choose a winner. Considering the 2mp advantage of the Canon EOS 20D over the Nikon D70 or Fuji S2, that probably means the Nikon is actually the better lens.
Since it’s unlikely the newer versions perform less well than this version I’d say buying any Nikon 70 or 80-200 f2.8 is about as safe a purchase as you’ll ever make.