HeezDeadJim: Hmm....I'm actually relieved that they are keeping the Rebel series as "entry" level (wait, hear me out!). No one likes to save up hard earned money for something they've always wanted, only to find out the newer versions of lesser line products "borrowed" or uses the same "features" of what the higher products had a few years ago. This is quite apparent with phones and other smaller devices.
When I saw the 18MP that my 7D had, I was worried they would have a similar (if not the same) 19 AF points. Glad to see it's still 9-points (although for this price, bumping it to, let's say, 12-points would be justified). I worked really hard to get my 7D (upgraded from a modest Rebel XT (7-point AF), and would cry if some spooty Rebel out-spec'd it already. I guess that won't come till next year with the Rebel 5i, or 70D.
Or the replacement for the 7D!!!