The 17-55 has some nice features, 2.8 & IS, but the build quality is not good. It's a shame, such good optics in such a poor housing. It's better than the 18-55 kit lens, but not better than the 15-85 lens, and no where as good as the 17-40. I just use the 17-55 indoors, I won't take it to weddings as it's just not durable enough and too expensive to risk, IMO (I'm a wedding photographer). But if you treat it gently, it will provide good images. Of course, it won't allow you to upgrade to a full frame, you'll have to buy a new lens for that. So if you might want a full frame in your future, the 17-40 might be a better long term option.