No longer a newbie, moving up!
tirediron said:The 24-70 is an outstanding lens. It's not quite as versatile on a crop-sensor, but it was my 'go-to' lens on my D300 for a long time. If you can only get one of these two, then I would definitely get the 24-70 over the 70-200. You might also want to consider a used 80-200 2.8; optically, almost as good as the 70-200, just lacking the VR (Which on a 200mm lens isn't all that useful anyway). It can be found for as little as ~$600 used.
Id also recommend the 80-200mm, it's just as good as the vr1(not "almost"). The af-s version sells used for around $850-$900.