I have the 18/200 VR made in Thailand and I have a friend that has one made in Japan. There is no difference at all in the quality or performance. The only difference is the made in tags.
I bought mine at a camera store.
He bought his at Best Buy.
My Nikon 18/200 VRis the best all around lens I have ever owned and I use it for 99% of everything I shoot. ( weddings, portraits, large groups, small groups, pets, landscapes, Motorcycles, cars and everything else you can think of. It is a perfect match for my D200 and also works perfect on My D100.
I am also a perfectionist and have to put out high quality photographs or I would not have any business because I only use word of mouth to get other jobs. If I charged someone for a lousy picture I would not get referred to their friends.
My D200 was also made in Thailand and it is a truly great camera.