That is worth so much more than a potted buy-this equipment list.

I agree with almost all your points. I actually like shooting at roughly (35mm equiv.) 80mm for portraits and candids. Nikon had a fast 85mm lens some while ago that was very popular.

Back when 35mm automatic SLRs started becaming a lot more affordable, Nikon and Canon actually both made serious efforts to make the kit lenses "not-crap"