I have used this lens for almost a year now, as I replaced my kit lens shorlty after getting my Rebel XT. The best thing about this lens is it's versatility. Good, but not true Marcro, 1:2 allows for having fun with flowers and bugs, etc. Wide enough to use as a walkaround, although there is some slight distortion at the wide end. Good Range on a crop body for portraits, and photojournalism work. Wish it was fixed at 2.8, but then you couldn't get it for the price. Like the below reviewer, I also own the 50mm f/1.8 and the 50 IS sharper, however they both have very different uses.
Overall, this is a good buy if you get it at the right price!