I purchased one....stared at it for a week....weighed my options....returned it and bought a second body (used)instead. I have the 21/28/45 & 90, so I figure I'm covered with all primes and have much more versatiliy than the zoom would have offered.
Though it broke my heart to return it.
I have owned the zoom, 21mm, 45mm & 90mm. Recently I sold the zoom and now have just the 21mm and 45mm - I feel that these are both excellent lenses and suit the camera perfectally. The zoom is an excellent lens but is too slow for this kind of camera and very expensive. The prime lenses in comparison 'restrict' me artistically as a photographer. I use the G2 & 21mm or 45mm for my best work (mainly in the street) with black and white film and a Nikon D100 with various zoom lenses for all my other work. I find that I have been getting better results with my G2 than my digital setup, even though the digital setup in theory has a lot more 'capabilities'. I have found that restricting myself to two focal lengths has actually improved my working practise. See www.urban-exposure.com for ex&les.
Beyond it's whiz-bang appeal (the only lens of its type in existance), the zoom is a valuable tool for precise framing, for anyone who shoots a lot of slides. Loaded with fast film it makes the G2 quite the point-and-shoot camera. IMHO the results are worthy of the G system.
I don't necessarily suggest the zoom as a substitute for the primes though, as their greater apertures, shallower DOFs and closer minimum focus provide some creative options that the zoom cannot replicate.
In an ideal world, you would be 100% right. In my case the tools also have to fit the bank account and my ability/desire to carry more than one lens. My current budget would just about stretch to a S/H zoom or a 35mm G plus a 28mm G in addition to the 45mm G I already have. However I know from my personal experience with my RX, that I am very reluctant to carry around one extra lens, let alone two out of the six C/Y lenses I have (lazy to the core - that's me). The main concern I have is the lens speed on the zoom. I very rarely use anything other than 200 ASA colour negative or positive in the G2, as I only use faster films in B&W = Ilford XP2 in my 139Q and HP5 in my Leica IIf (sorry guys!). I am just not sure if the lens speed on the zoom will be fast enough for everyday use. Great for holidays but then I have my new SL300RT* for that. I also have the 35-70 CZ VS for my RX, if I really want that class A zoom. The final factor is that the 35mm G apparently is only findable in titanium which does look a little strange on my black G2. Decisions, decisions - ulp!! Wilson
As one lazy fellow to another, I understand. Changing out lenses while shooting is a pain, and the G's mount isn't easy to change by feel. Naturally, that's one of the VS's big benefits. If it's of any help, I've gotten good results shooting Elitechrome 100 and Provia 100 outdoors using the zoom, so it's not as though it's ghoulishly slow. The lens' speed is roughly that of a top-flight P&S camera, not at all like those having lenses a shameful f/11 or so at the tele end of the zoom range.
The G2 + VS + GG1 hood + 55mm cap fits inside the small Zing SLR camera case. Toss this rig in the car or backpack and I'm ready to handle a great variety of shoots. Add the 21 and I've got an very versatile travel rig at a total of two lenses.
p.s. The silver-on-black look kind of grows on me over time.
I finally decided the S/H but still quite expensive zoom wasn't worth it as I can use my CZ/VS 35-70 on the RX if I want the flexiblity of a zoom and for P&S I have the SL300RT*. Funds in hand and burning a hole in my pocket, I hot-footed it down to my local pro dealer who was advertising a black finish 28 mm f2.8 Biogon G with GG1 at a reasonable price. It looks to be particularly good for indoor shots, where the opportunity to walk backwards to frame the shot may not be an option and my Metz 32 Z2 has a 28mm zoom setting. It will be interesting to see the shots next week, as my son has a fund-raiser for 100 people to support a charity venture this Saturday. Wilson