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Just to clarify, I tried to convince him for a little bit then I did give up. I would like the f/2.8 version because of it's better low light capability, with the f/4 I find myself pushing the ISO to 5000 to get a decent shot at 1/500(For sports). On my 7D it gets really noisy, so I put the ISO reduction on but that's not ideal for sports as I can only get 4 shots off before lag.
That's a good example of where the difference between f/4 and f/2.8 can be the difference between getting the shot or going home.
What sports are you shooting? If ice hockey, I saw you replied to that series of ice hockey shots on the sports thread - the 7D is capable of ISO4000 shots like that - mine is. If you are really noisy at ISO5000, you may still be underexposed. Properly exposed they should be useable.
If you're shooting basketball, I would recommend an 85mm f/1.8. Much cheaper than the 70-200, over a stop faster, and should be fine for action at one end if you can station yourself along the baseline or on the corner.
If you set your in-camera noise reduction to Standard instead of Strong, you'll get your buffer back. Use a separate NR software after capture if you need it. That's what I used to do shooting jpg.
But now I shoot ice hockey in RAW. I get much better colors, and process batches of RAW files with ACR noise reduction (Luminance at 40, Color at 80). Pretty happy with the results.