I want to thank all those that kicked in their 2 cents. Looks like it's a mixed bag. I want to replace my kit lens from a Rebel XS. I am not making money on any of my photos, and have no delusions about that, so spending 2.5 times the coin on a Canon lens of comparable status, is out of the question.
I just took delivery of this lens, and I have to say, the build/construction of the lens is not what I expected.
1. It's heavier than any of the Canon lenses I own. This is not a bad thing, but it did surprise me.
2. When I unboxed it, I found out why... The lens is a whopping 72mm in diameter! I wasn't sure how it would fit on my Rebel XS... but of course it was fine.
I have taken some indoor shot of my lazy cat, and have plans to take it out "in the wild" this weekend, but so far I am happy with the lens.
As stated in the manual - which is a boring read, but necessary - the VC kicks in a split second after the shutter button is half depressed, and last for a split second after you release the button. I find it far more smooth than the Canon 55-250mm IS lens once it gets started. The stabilization on that lens hops all over the place when racked out to 250.