Originally Posted by Huss
.... the harsh reality is that the AF lenses work so much better. They are extremely sharp, focus perfectly and make for a seamless experience. .....
Sad, but sometimes reality bites.....
Image quality is more than just sharpness these days. I think with PS and a bit of time, many of the other aspects can get adjusted to taste. While you can adjust sharpness in the computer to a point, you run out of headroom to adjust quicker than other aspects.
More money gets you more features that might be important to getting a great type of picture.