16-35 is also on my radar. Other than lens flare w/o the hood, do you find it performs well?
I too love this shot.
To me, it's a bit of a specialty lens. It has a few quirks but so does anything when you get down to 16mm. It's a very sharp lens for a zoom. I might be able to get a slight bit more shaprness from a prime but it wouldn't be worth the loss of flexibility to me. Distortion is like any lens, live with it or fix it. Learn to shoot so you have room to correct the distortion and all is good. I get some crazy merges when I use this lens for panoramas. I haven't completely figured that out yet. I use Elements 11 and Autopano Pro, they both have some difficulty with the distortion. Only time I use this lens is if I can't fit the subject into the frame with my 28-300mm..