Anyway am I the only photographer that thinks the 18mp sensor is absolute rubbish?? The 100-400ISO range which I shoot in most, is awful in comparison to the 40Ds 10mp. It is extremely noisy, not clean at all and there is a lot of banding! I read a lot on hear about it and poo poo'd the problems because I thought people were being overly critical as its a tech forum. But 800ISO and over is a great improvement, but most of my stuff is done in the 100-400 range. So I am extremely disappointed in the 7D for IQ which is what I want. Everything else about the camera is perfect IMO, but there is no point in having a great camera with poor IQ.
You are spot on. I shot for a couple of years with the 5DII, and then bought the 7D as a backup, and a bit of a birder. I was horrified by the amount of noise at ISO100. I tried again using it in different situations. Sharp yes. Noisy - absolutely! It's horrible. It has sat in my spare bag for about a year - I just haven't got around to getting rid of it, but I haven't used it either.
If they brought out a 7DMarkII with some kind of huge base ISO noise improvements, and all other features the same (same 18MP), then I'd get one in a flash. It's unusable to me in its current form though.