So... who here owns both and can testify?
I'd guess not many. The 85L mkii is a siren. She makes you want to use her... even when it isn't ideal... like me shooting sports with it.
LOL, I think you might be right! I can feel her drawing me in... wallet first.
My favorite lenses are/were as follows respective to my other lens in my bag at the time:
50mm f/1.8 > 18-55mm is, 75-300/55-250
100mm f/2.8L > 50 f/1.4, 24-105mm is, 70-200mm f/4L usm
70-200mm f/2.8L is mkii tie with 100mm f/2.8L > 85mm f/1.8, 8.5mm fisheye, 24-105mm
but at present...
the 85L mkii > 70-200mm f/2.8L is mkii, 100L, 24-105mm,
I really really love my 100L because it was really really sharp wide open... and the 85L isn't... but it is really pretty... http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/ISO-12233-Sample-Crops.aspx?Lens=397&Camera=453&Sample=0&FLI=0&API=0&LensComp=941&CameraComp=453&SampleComp=0&FLIComp=0&APIComp=0
This is a pretty accurate representation... there is purple color fringing... which I have to remove in lightroom... it isn't crazy sharp... the thin depth of field means that I know I'm going to lose some shots that I otherwise would have nailed at f/2.8, and at least right now... I dont' care. I'll slap on the 85L and walk bravely into the front because I know there is something special there that I can't get with my other lenses... and I love my other lenses... but I'm under its spell.
I'd encourage you to rent/borrow and 85L mkii... I know we have to sacrafice sharpness, but I'm ok with it... and if it turns out that you are ok with it as well, it makes for a special compliment to one's arsenal.
Quick full disclosure... I was trying to buy the lens used for a while... and Dylan is partly to blame because he picked his up at a VERY nice price and I was of the opinion that if he can get that price... I should be able to come close to it. So I bought one... couldn't sell enough stuff to afford it... cancelled the order... a few months later... bought one... and I found a better price, so I cancelled that order... then the 2nd order didn't arrive... so I was stuck... Then I bought another... again didn't arrive... and then finally I picked one up for under $1200... and it is like new... maybe very very good... but just a gem of a find.
So... that whole effort... it could just be me rationalizing all my effort to get the lens at the price at I wanted...
but I do really love it...