I feel an envy of friends users of Nikon is 17-55mm F2.8 DX made bulletproof. The optical quality is not great, but the mechanical strength makes me ashamed of Canon 17-55mm. I do not question the name "L", just give me the build quality similar to Nikon, and I will be happy.
interesting. I see it exactly the other way round. Nikon' huge and heavy 17-55 DX lens, with very mediocre optical performance, lack of IS and yet priced 50% more than Canon's 17-55 was one of the main reasons why I did not switch to Nikon from my 40D when the D300 came out (2009).
EF-S 17-55 has served me extremely well for about 8 years until now. No mechanical or sealing issues whatsoever, except a few dust specks inside. And I've been literally all sorts of places with it ... from social events to sports meetings, from shooting de-icing operations for an airport on a bitter cold day in February to some URBEXING safaris in incredibly hot, incredibly dusty abandoned places in the midst of summer. 17-55 went skiing with me in winter and mountaineering in summer ... no problem ever. Both, 7D plus 17-55 held up nicely. And the lens is still in very good shape. An exceptional item in terms of performance and value. AF fully up to snuff and IS as well. It has helped me a lot to capture brilliant, sharp images.
I also think the TO would be better served by a hi-ISO capable FF body with a 24-70 II on it. Except for the lack of IS it is the 17-55 of FF. ;-)