Lot of threads running on this at the moment.
However, I just can't get excited about fancy glass. I couldn't give a monkeys what colour a lens is, what colour the little ring is or even what maker's name is printed on it. I care even less if it has the letter L stamped on it somewhere.
I will buy a lens purely based on whether it meets my particular requirements. I will weigh up the costs/features/benefits offered by several makers offerings and then decide based on that. It is a tool, just like the body.
Of the six lenses I have bought in the past 1.5 years, using these simple rules, only one of them is a Canon lens and that isn't stamped with the letter "L".
I still produce good pictures and I still enjoy myself. Hey, and I still have savings in the bank I can use for other things.
Am I wrong ?
(DISCLAIMER - If you are a Pro and you do need to produce the absolute best quality you can to earn money to put food on the table, then I fully understand the reasons to go for L glass. In addition, if you are not a Pro but have loads of cash (or don't mind starving), then by all means, buy L, it is your money).