" uncontrollable flare and ghosting"
Sounds like it needs a good cleaning, and/or use of a hood. All my versions do not have uncontrollable flare and ghosting; some yes but quite controllable.
In all seriousness, a truly great Nikkor. I've extensively used all versions and can assure you, if you can get the N or N.C version get it. It can yellow from the radioactive decay but that can either be overlooked or bleached out. My without a doubt irreplaceable lens. The Ais version has a slightly different optical formula, no radioactive elements so it doesn't yellow but the images look thinner and harder, (maybe a bit more flarey and ghosty too?) in comparison to the N and N.C (and early K versions if you want to be precise) where it seems the image is fuller and more gentle with sharpness. Subtle differences but it's there.