So here was the question I was answering: "I have $1000 to spend on lenses, not much compared to the price of professional lenses, but I'd like to get a range of useful, quality glass. Any ideas?"
Well, here's my list of lenses that provide the same image quality as "pro" lenses, but that are easy on the bottom line.
For under $300, a fast 28mm:
Sigma 28mm f/1.8 for NikonFor about $100, a fast 50mm:
Sigma 28mm f/1.8 for Canon
Sigma 28mm f/1.8 for Pentax and Samsung
Sigma 28mm f/1.8 Minolta and Sony
Sigma 28mm f/1.8 for Sigma
Tamron SP Autofocus 90mm f/2.8 for NikonFor $150, a creative lens:
Tamron SP Autofocus 90mm f/2.8 for Canon
Tamron SP Autofocus 90mm f/2.8 for Konica Minolta and Sony
Tamron SP Autofocus 90mm f/2.8 for Pentax