24-70 with or w/o VR?
I have no experience with the Nikon 24-70, but I own the Tamron 24-70 VC which I use with my D7000. I am thrilled with the performance of the lens. I had to replace the first copy I received as it was soft across the whole frame (not a back or front focusing issue). The second copy I received is excellent.
The only lens I own that doesn't have VC/VR is my Nikon 50mm f/1.4 G. If I have the option to get a quality lens, or an equal quality lens with VC/VR - I will always choose the one with VC/VR.
Make sure you purchase from a company with a good return policy (I bought from Amazon which has excellent customer service). Ensure you have a good copy and you will be grinning from ear to ear. Tamron has a 6 year warranty.
Good luck with the purchase and let us know which one you choose.