I have seen so much negativity about this lens which is probably the least expensive EF-S lens you can get from Canon. The lens is not a Canon L glass and yet people tend to compare it to the $1500 lenses, but is so much better than anything on a P&S.
Recommend this product?
The range is perfect for those indoor shots with family gatherings with a width to gather almost everyone in the room with minimal barrel distortion and yet able to zoom comfortably in when in a room. I am constantly amazed at how well it does for colors and sharpness, I still can believe some of the shots it had given me during the holidays that are all very sharp. Even when I compare it to my L glass, I will typically grab this lens for family events.
The lens I have is the 2nd generation (designated with a 'II') that came with my 20D, which did have a better rating than the first generation lens provided with the Rebel.