I bought this lens to use with my Nikon D3100 DSLR kit. I am relatively new to DSLR photography and wanted a lens that I wouldn't have to keep changing in the field.
I was pleased with the kit lens that came with the D3100 (18-55mm) and this second lens maintains that trend in terms of ease of operation and clarity of results. There is a built in auto-focus motor and it is easy to zoom manually using the wide rubber surround. Being a 55mm to 300mm lens it covers a wide range of scenarios without too much compromise. For example, I had previously been using a Panasonic DMC FZ38 superzoom bridge camera with an 18x maximum zoom to capture wildlife shots etc. This Nikon lens gives a similar level of zoom capability but with even greater clarity. It can also cope well with shots that require less zoom and bit of a wider angle, although, clearly it can't go as wide as the 18-55mm kit lens. This means in certain circumstances you have to change lenses in the field. The Nikon 55-300mm lens also has a highly effective anti-shake (Nikon VR - Vibration Reduction) mechanism - I was concerned at how I would keep a lens of this magification steady at full zoom, but, I need not have been as the VR is very good.
The Nikon 55-300mm lens is supplied with a lens cap, lens hood and storage bag which provides protection against dust etc. but the bag is no substitute for the protection of a proper case or compartment in your camera bag.
An alternative approach to delivering even greater versatility might be to buy your DSLR in "body only form" e.g. without a kit lens and buy an 18-270mm or similar lens possibly from a third party such as Tamron - budget wise this would work out at a similar cost to adding this lens to the D3100 kit (e.g. the camera plus 18-55mmm lens), provide almost the same versatility and reduce the need to change lenses in the field.
I am sure serious photographers could find shortcomings with this lens but as a simple hobby photographer it delivers the quality and versatility I am seeking at a reasonable price. On that basis, I am delighted with my purchase, and, therefore, this Nikon lens comes recommended.