the sharpness "issue" is too overemphasized IMO.
I agree, and every lens has it's weaknesses, even the 300 f/2.8 IS II (arguably the sharpest Canon lens) and Otus 55 have some flaws. Softness happens to be the 50L's biggest weakness, but it's not so bad as to make it unusable. People get so hung up on sharpness, it's just sad. If it were a macro lens, I would understand, but it's marketed
towards, "[w]edding and portrait photographers, as well as professional photojournalists."
If Sigma can come up with a reasonably priced AF lens that has excellent color, contrast, bokeh, AND sharpness, I'll be very happy, and I'm eager to pre-order one to test out.
In the meantime, however, I'll happily trade some sharpness for the rest of the things that the 50L does so well and if I need sharpness above all else, my 24-70 II will do just fine.