Another vote for 50mm 1.4 and 85mm 1.8.
Spokane, question: when did you start seeing these people?
I ask, because it wasn't before my first Canon IS point-and-shoot before people thought my shots were professional.
I'm one of those people that 'buys up' and is then disappointed, but ultimately gets used to it; my Tamron 24-70 just 'let me down' (I wasn't doing things right) on it's first serious use. I wanted f2.8 DoF, but my son was running in and out of the field too quickly. All of them that I stopped down to f4.0 looked great.
You live and you learn; as long as you're willing to learn, you'll be fine.
I've purchased dozens of cameras and lenses, probably hundreds, locally from Craigs list or estate sales or garage sales for many years. I use them a bit, keep the ones I like, and resell the others. Then if something better comes along, I sell the one it replaces. I make sure when I buy something that I can resell it without danger of losing money.
For many of the rebel DSLR's I've bought, a high percentage were from buyers who put them away in a closet after using them a month. Then, they sell them after another year when they realize that they are never going to use them. By contrast, That is seldom the case with the XXD or higher cameras.
The issue is that some new buyers don't know what to expect from a DSLR, and might use a little help. Most all of the users here knew what they were getting into, but even so, we see one or two a week asking for help. so I thought it might be nice to have a FAQ for them to read.
I think your example of stopping down to get more depth of field on a slower focusing beginnner type camera/lens combination could be worked into a lesson learned. Something like:
"Canon Rebel DSLR's are meant for beginner level photographers and do not have a pro level ability to focus sharply on fast or erratically moving subjects like soccer players when used with a wide aperture shallow depth of field lens.
One way to work around this is to close your aperture down to a smaller amount, f/4 or f/5.6. You will get more depth of field, and find that the camera can better keep up with sharp focus of moving subjects."