I'm betting the only zoom that wouldn't be a variable aperture would be the Nikkor 70-200mm. I would seriously doubt to see Nano coating on any of them but maybe on the 80-400 as some have said it can flair bad.
The 80-400mm we have heard has been in the works for a while. The 70-300mm would just get the newer VR which shouldn't be too hard. The 85mm would be a much welcomed lens.
Patents are just that, and rarely come to fruition or are products released anytime soon after. I'm willing to bet you can find at least 3-4 different Nikon patents on a 50mm 1.2 lens over the years. I do remember seeing 80-400mm patents over a year ago. Maybe you could see a 1.2 in a year or two.
You're probably right- I was really interested in a 70-300 F4, until I realized how big that might be. A 70-200 F4 would be really nice, and if it doubles as a macro lens that'd be awesome too. Add the necessary VR and that might be a really great lens.
The 16-70 might be a cheaper alternative to the 16-85, good for folks who want the great optics but not the terrible pricing.
The 85mm F2 is a bit weird. Unless it's significantly cheaper than the 85mm 1.4, there wouldn't be a reason in producing it. Perhaps it's a replacement for the 1.8?
The 35mm might be in the same line as the 85mm F2, a cheaper alternative to the insanely expensive 1.4.
As long as the new 85 and 35 are FX, I might actually pick them both up along with the 70-200 if the price is nice enough as a graduation present!
God, and I thought Nikon's lens lineup couldn't get any better!