I purchased a 43-86mm f/3.5 AI for something like $22 simply to twist people's noses a bit on other forums. Those people were talking about how the D800 "required" certain lenses and I wanted to demonstrate otherwise.
In one notable thread, a troll accused me of lying about a 43-86mm shot. He claimed it clearly had to come from a prime lens because it was so much sharper than his shot with a 24-70mm f/2.8. In reality, all that the shot really showed was that the 43-86mm didn't have much field curvature near minimum focus; my shot had more resolving power at the edges but overall contrast was noticeably lower.
Distortion is another matter. Don't ever take a brick wall shot with lens at either of the extremes -- you'll wince at the results. In all, I doubt I'll shoot any film with the 43-86mm. Instead, when the Nikon FA comes out to play, so will the 35-105mm f/3.5~4.5 that I've been using for 25+ years.