Your version of events is not so accurate but lets agree to disagree. Since this is on birdforum and about a lens, I will keep my responses to that.
When I got my lens back, I never said it was sharper. Said it acquired focus quicker. Never even mentioned sharper IF YOU BOTHERED TO READ WHAT I WROTE:t:.
As to the focus limiter, I stand by what I said. When set to full it does not focus well on far away objects, especially in AI servo. It is far more responsive when set to 15m to infinity. The pro that I referred to picked up the camera for about 30 seconds, tried to take a few shots and it did not work. I mentioned he shoots Nikon and Leica and really did not know which button to use when back focusing. Did not use him to prove a point at all. I watched him try and focus on the stop sign and it not obtain focus. It was not that it did not beep, but that it remained very blurry. When I tried again, it worked much better with the limiter set to 15m +. I also think that in AI servo that my limited experience with shoot stationary birds was that areas of more contrast that it was slower to focus than when shoot in one shot. But again that was with very limited experience.
And again we are talking about the performance of a lens, not my ability to process shots. White in a bill of a coot is not the lenses fault, it is mine. Blacks in a Wood Duck are not the lenses fault either. Clearly I made a mistake when shooting the pic and did not fix it in post. I do not even own lightroom or photshop. Only do basic corrections with Canon DigitalProfessional.
To me there are no comparisons with the Coot shots. Yours is not in focus and very soft. Mine is sharp. Not a debatable thing. Again we are discussing the performance of a lens, not your idea of what a record shot is. Does the lens produce sharp shots? For me it is all about how easy it is to carry and to use while birding. While I understand that the shots with a 7 or 10 times more expensive lens will be better, they are not so much better. Which is what makes this a great all around lens for so many.
Well I guess you won, Roy C threw his toys out of the cot as the brits say, and turned tail and ran. What a blowhard that guy is, very rude and opinionated as well as full of himself, don't imagine he has too many friends as nobody would put up with his self-righteous attitude for long.
I think you are spot on in your evaluation of this lens and your opinion is well appreciated by many that follow this thread to affirm that this lens is as good as its rumored to be, even Roy C has to admit in his own convoluted way that the lens is pretty good although he tries to find fault in it at every turn, nevertheless he bought one and I think he will keep it cause its blows the doors off of any of those big whites he worships, its lighter, more flexible, and just as sharp for all intents and purposes according to the "real" controlled tests that "thedigitalpicture.com does.
Have to admit though, this thread has died since Roy C isn't around extolling his opinions, flawed as they may be.