Focal length choice is up to your own personal tastes.
All I can say is, DON'T get off-brand lenses. It'd be like putting bald tires on a Porsche...what's the point, really.
Quality Nikkor optics are available so inexpensively these days - no reason you can't fit your budget AND get top results together. Good luck!
Bald? Maybe, if the third-party lens is completely worn out and of no practical use. :)
Originally Posted by Colin Corneau
I agree that in general, Nikkors are better but there are some specific third-party lenses that are not crazy to use at all.
Maybe by "bald" you meant "racing slicks"... and in that case, most of the time that would be bad but on a bare, dry road that would be amazing! :)
try some bald zeiss glass on your nikon f5, but first get some money...