Alvin Lim , Oct 25, 2008; 11:19 a.m.
If I do not remember wrongly, I think your best bets for that effective length are probably only the VR version of the 24-120mm and the Nikon 18-105mm VR.
Though both are versatile lenses, they are not exactly the fastest of lenses. I have tried the 18-105mm VR and found that in terms of picture quality, it is not too bad (it is pretty much a value for money lens). Not sure if this will hinder your kind of shooting, but one problem I personally find with the 18-105mm VR is that the auto focusing is a little slow.