Thanks for your kind comments, Izzet - they always mean more coming from a professional like yourself.
I'm very happy with the 24-70 lens - yes, the sharpness is good. I also have the 14-24 lens, although I haven't used that much yet (I only upgraded from the D200 to the D700 before Christmas - the Borobudur trip was the first with the new body and two new lenses). When I got the 14-24 I was surprised that there was no thread for filters, but Nikon's new lens coating seems to do almost as good a job as a polarising filter which turned out to be a pleasant surprise.
Cheers . . . David