And the hilarity ensues. I think it's a totally valid question. If L lenses were all $200, everybody would just collect them like stamps and be on their merry way. They aren't, so those of us on a stricter budget wonder what affordable lens will be worth it and what lens won't. I wonder what non-L lenses some of our folks have in their bags that they won't list in their signature, or sold and wish they hadn't.
For wide angle on crop, I really like my 20mm f/2.8. Other full-frame future-proofers go for the 17-40/4L. Neither has the extra wide angle of the 10-22 that everyone lauds.
For a "normal" prime on crop, I just bought a 28mm f/1.8 and I'm happy, although it doesn't get much love on the internets. The older 35 f/2, or the 28 f/2.8, are easier on the budget. I think the 28/1.8 hits the sweet spot of quality full-frame lens, before everyone had to start thinking in terms of two separate lens line-ups.
The 50/1.8, 50/1.4, and 40/2.8 all get excellent reviews (considering their price points). On crop, they are more like portrait lenses than normal. For super-cheap macro, add some fully automatic extension tubes.
For proper macro on a budget, the 100mm f/28 USM produces excellent pictures and doubles as a fast telephoto/portrait lens. No IS, no focus limiter, but full-time manual focus.
I don't know about the higher-level EF-S zooms. They are probably better than the older full frame primes I'm spouting off about, but I like fast lenses that I won't have to resell when I upgrade.