You should be able to get decent images with the gear you have. The Canon 50F1.8 is a great value lens and the focal length is great for portraits on a crop. If that lens is too long, I agree with the suggestions for cheaper wide primes (28F1.8, 30F2). Before you spend a lot of cash on new gear I would first, as suggested by others, get a good off camera flash. Then you need to look at your technique. Are you focusing correctly, what shutter speed (seems too slow from what you said), F-stops are you using? Also spend some time learning about lighting. I have the Rebel you have, and a 5dII, and a 20D before those. The greatest limitation I have with the Rebel is its ISO performance - its just not in the league with the newer sensors. This can prevent you from using shutter speeds you may need, bit it should not be an issue if you are shooting with a flash or have other lighting. However, if you are doing natural light portraits indoors the ISO performance of your older Rebel will be a problem. The focus system on the Rebel is not nearly as good as the 7d, but, as I said, I would solve any technique issues before upgrading. Once you are convinced you have good technique, invest in some better glass. Camera bodies are technology based, and I would prolong that upgrade as long as long as feasible. I still use my Rebel where I want two bodies or where I need the reach, but I want to eventually get a 7d or its successor.