Interesting results, to be sure. This lens, along with the Tamron 24-70/2.8 VC, are frontrunners for replacing my 17-55/2.8 IS if I end up going full frame later on this year. Seems like I'd be trading focus shifting and smaller aperture for portability (smaller lens, and I probably wouldn't need a dedicated macro).
Odd that the review didn't really mention macro performance too much, and none of the sample shots show a close focus situation. I guess the LoCA section is meant to cover that.
RLPhoto: Macro means a large magnification, and for a non-dedicated Macro lens this qualifies handily. The "all-in-one" nature of this lens means I can carry a smaller, lighter kit, and that's precisely why it's even in the running besides the otherwise superior Tamron.
In the end, the focus shift issues and price are two sides of the same problem. With great resolution, amazing versatility, compact size, and durable construction, I wouldn't mind paying the asking price if it focused more reliably at macro ranges. On the other hand, I could allow for such quirks if they asked less. The combination of the two makes it a hard pill to swallow though.