I only have one thing to say regarding my thoughts on this lens. Two weeks ago I was in Banff, AB on a vacation. A quick slip and a trip, and my lens was in 10 pieces on the ground. Oops.
Within an 2 hours I had a brand new one in my hands, because this lens is a no brainer for the price and for the quality of shots that I get at my amature level.
Anyone starting out in photography needs to buy this lens. It is a great learning tool and can show you what you are capable of. My first priority after smashing it to bits was to get another one in my hands ASAP. It is almost disposable for the price. I also learned a great and cheap lesson on how not to treat lenses.