The original 43-86mm was the first lens I used extensively while learning photography as a teenager in the late 80s (it was the only lens in my Dad's Nikon F kit that he would usually let me use). I got my own Nikon F in 1992, when I was in college, and it came with a 50mm f/2 Nikkor, which frankly blows the socks off the zoom. But I did like the 43-86 and made some fairly nice pictures with it. We still have it, and that particular example flares easily, is not sharp, and has some noticeable distortion of straight lines, especially at close distances (or maybe it's just more noticeable then). Now I prefer the 35-105mm Nikkor for a general-purpose zoom, and that's the only lens I have for my F3.
There are a few older threads on APUG discussing this lens; just search 43-86 and you should find more info.