This is Nikon's professional walkabout zoom for cameras with the DX-format sensor. Whilst it covers a similar focal length range to many "kit" lenses, it's much much bigger and heavier. The first time you see it you'll be surprised how big and heavy it is, but there is a reason. (Hint: It's all about performance.)
For a lens that's likely to be sitting on your camera most of the time, you want performance, and the 17-55mm appears to deliver it in almost every respect. The autofocus is fast and accurate. Image sharpness and contrast are very good, whilst distortion and other artefacts are well controlled. What small weaknesses it has are minor and generally won't show up in prints.
COMPATIBILITY NOTE: This is a DX lens. It will not deliver a full-frame image on a D3 series, D4, D600, D700 or D800 camera across the entire focal length range. But it can deliver full-frame images from about 24mm up to 55mm.