For years, I insisted that all my lenses have aperture rings on them. It's always been a part of my photography "shtick", and I felt that aperture rings should be on the lens, just like focusing rings, and zoom controls (when necessary). Since I was "away" from the changes brought about by Nikon, and the evolution to the "G" lens, it seems as though I've missed out on something.
I've been lens shopping, trying to figure out just what I'd like to add. I already have a good battery of zooms, and fixed focal length lenses, so there's no real rush add a new one..., well, maybe just because I really, really need one.
I've done some research, and it appears that most of the lenses, regardless the price range, are now "G" models, sans aperture ring. For instance, B&H showed 97 lenses which were A/F. Only 34 weren't "G" series, so it would seem that the changes are in place. I fully understand the fact, that it's far cheaper to manufacture lenses without aperture rings.
I've read several articles on the subject, and since I now use only a D200 and a D500, it would seem that the traditional aperture ring is just no longer needed. I don't own any "G" series yet, but it seems that my "fears" are unfounded.