Zoom or no zoom (zoo pictures)
i use mine regularly shooting stuff like cheerleading competitions, and i never have much trouble keeping up with the action with my 80-200/2.8. the only criticism i have with my copy is a tendency for blue fringing when shooting into bright light. much of that can be removed in post, and it hasn't deterred me from using it.
i would also make a pitch for the 70-300/4.5-5.6 VR lens, which new costs $589 US. it's the lightweight alternative to the 70-200, and what it basically lacks in low-light performance. i have used mine extensively for wildlife and other outdoor work, and i've been very pleased because it's lightweight and gives good images (in my case) all the way out to 300mm. if you're out and abour for hours shooting, sometimes you come to appreciate a lens that doesn't weigh as much as a brick!
choices, choices... don't let anyone tell you that you have to spend a boatload of cash to get an acceptable telephoto zoom.