The Canon 50mm f/1.8 is considered the jewel of Canon's entry level lineup. Dubbed "Plastic Fantastic" this lens is fast, inexpensive, and incredibly sharp. This latest version does feature a metal mount and you can feel the different. The fit is very tight and feels very precise.
Many photography sites have written about this lens and it's attributes. Now, because of it's plastic construction, the price is not congruent with the quality of images it produces. All major manufacturers seem to have a similar 50mm 1.8 that produces fantastic images under $200. Canon's gem comes in at around $110.
Sample images I've shot are featured in the gallery. You'll notice fantastic detail and depth of field. It really shines at f/3.5-5.6 where the sharpness was up there with lenses priced into the thousands. I give this lens