This is the first lens I've bought after the horrible kit lens came with my XTi.
First of all build quality really disappointed me, but it clearly explains why this lense is so cheap. So I shouldn't be complaining about it but whatever. Also AF is a bit noisier than the kit lense and it seems a bit slow too, but I don't have any experience with the lense on daylight. Maybe AF won't get confused when the lighting is OK
Image-wise, it is totally unrivalled for the price. Images are sharp and it creates beautifully blurred backgrounds. Sometimes f/1.8 becomes a little tricky to handle but generally it's the best feature of the lense.
Two test shots. I had the polarizer attached to my kit lense and was too tired to remove it