I bought the f2.8 non-IS.
I cannot directly compare it to the f4 IS because I have no direct experience.
My reasoning for buying the f2.8 version was:
I do a lot of video - the extra aperture is invaluable (video has a fixed shutter speed essentially, more aperture flexibility = good)
For when I do stills the extra light is really useful for my AF, I cannot compare like for like here, but my 7D is very very fast and accurate with the f2.8 lens.
In the detailed reviews I read the f4 IS was marginally sharper, a minimal amount sharper, both were excellent, very very good,the f4IS was the sharpest of the bunch (this is in the pre f2.8 IS II days) but the f2.8 was in and of itself an excellent lens.
For the stills stuff that I do the extra shutter speed is more useful to me than IS (I always use a monopod or tripod anyway, I respect that most people do not)
I wish my lens had weather sealing, I have no complaints at all about optical performance or speed.