Summary: My favorite lens - wonderful clarity and depth of field control. I use this exclusively for pictures of people where I want to have good control of depth of field. It also helps that you're not right in the persons face while taking the picture. Then lens has a great perspective for portraits.
Summary: I enjoy taking portraits. This lens is perfect on my Nikon D3100. It produces beautiful bokeh, and operates with a comfortable distance between me and my subject. Not 15' away like with a 200m, nor 3' away like with a 50mm. It's just right. Facial features do not appear distorted, focus is adequately fast and is amazingly clear. Depth of field can be incredibly small. It's easy to take a close-up with your subject's eyes in tack sharp focus, but with their ears blurred.
Summary: So after purchasing my Nikkor 80-200 f4 and being completely satisfied, I grabbed this 85mm 1.8, which over the past few months has been a great value. It's not to heavy on the pocketbook, and I'm happy with the results on my D800. I'm a long time fan of primes and after checking out the tests at DXOMark I decided to check it out. This lens produces great bokeh and is sharp as a tack on subject when you need it to be.
Summary: There are lots of reviews on the sharpness and performance of this lens and comparing it to other 85mm lenses. I'll let them argue the details of sharpness, bokeh, etc. For me, the ability to override autofocus without mucking about with switches is very nice to have. That makes the 1.8D less attractive. And I haven't used my F3 in a very long time, so I don't miss the aperture ring. The difference in exposure between f/1.4 and f/1.8 is minimal.
Summary: I absolutely adore this lens. Since I purchased it about 2 months ago, it rarely leaves my camera (if it matters, I use a D7100 - but I love this on my D5000 too). Takes FANTASTIC portrait photos, absolutely beautiful and creamy bokeh, sharp and quick focus - I just love it. I bought mine used but in "like new" condition so that if I didn't like it, I could just turn around and sell it without losing too much - but I will never let go of this thing!