I got a 50/1.4 with my 10D in 2004, and the 24/2.8 a week later (both for model photography, my emphasis then). Then I got my 100 Macro shortly after my 400D in 2008, when I'd moved on to more scenic and nature photography. This year as I'm getting into architecture, I finally acquired my years-long dream of a 24mm TSE II L, and then a 7D to focus it more accurately, and then my first zoom, a 24-105 IS L, for travel (with the 70-200/4 IS L and a 5DIII next in the queue). So lately on "casual" jaunts, I've been carrying just the 7D and both Ls.
Point being, I'm digging the versatility of the zoom (and especially the IS), but it seems I'll always be a prime shooter - the TSE is on my camera 90% of the time. And when I had to do some event photography recently (not normally my thing), I found swapping between the 7D and Rebel with the 50 and 100 mounted on them handier for dealing with the low light than I likely would have found the zoom. But I'm not saying one type is better than the other, just my own inclinations and practical needs. (Besides which, shifting with the TSE is just a whole new joy of photography.)