I think it's the best crop sensor camera for bird photographers.
Regarding the "softness" issue, some of the above posts explained it nicely, and there is also 3-4 other threads here on forum running currently discussing this (non-)issue. DPreview, Imaging-resource, and Digital Picture, all very recognized review sites, rave about the camera and there you can find proof that the 7D has the highest resolution of the APS-C cameras. I am an anal pixel peeper but I don't get fooled by the "oh, the 40D (or the XSi, XS, XT, etc.) seems sharper at 100%. There are a lot of good explanations for this phenomenon which explain that there is a difference between sharpness and resolving power. Just because an image loks sharper at 100% it does not necessarily mean that it resolves more detail than a less sharp but higher res sensor. If that was true would that make my XT a better camera than my 7D??? I mean the images from my XT may be a bit sharper at 100% than my 7D. However, it's all about how much detail an image contains. Even if an image is sharper at 100% it doesn't necessarily show more detail than another that looks a bit softer but everything in the picture is twice as big and more detailed.
Believe me the 7D resolves the most detail and is a great camera. Like I said if you're interested in this "softness" stuff check out some of the other threads, where it is clearly explained what's going on and why this is a non-issue.