You mention "well known shortcomings" but I could point to numerous professional reviews where the reviewers said the same thing I've always said: at ISO 100-800 there is very little difference vs. FF.
Having owned FF and a 7D, I'd have to disagree.
Yup I would also agree with Michael here on this one. There is definitely noise visible at ISO 800 on the 7D, not much though. Even at ISO 100 I found myself using the NR slider sometimes. With the 5D2 I leave that slider alone 99% of the time.
+1. My 7D was worse on ISO 640 and above than my 5Dc is at ISO 1600. I haven't done any comparisons, but I think my 50D might be cleaner in high ISOs than my 7D.
I switched from 500D (I think 50D has the same sensor) to 7D (back in 2010), which was quite a bit better in noise department. 500D/50D seemed more grainy.
I always tried to keep my 7D macro shots under ISO 800, but now, with 6D I can go up to ISO 3200.