For about as long as I've owned my camera (four or five years now), I've used its automatic focus. I tried manual focus a few times and got poor results.
Tonight, I got a new Canon EF 50mm 1.8 II lens for my Digital Rebel XT. It is by far the fastest lens I own (the next fastest is my
Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM) and I love the limited depth of field I can get with it. I'm looking forward to trying it out while I'm in Italy next week.
My new lens inspired me to revisit manual focus. I've always found it difficult to use manual focus on my camera because I can't quite tell when the picture is actually in focus. However, I just learned a new trick that makes using manual focus easier. If you hold the shutter button halfway downlike you would if you were using autofocuswhile adjusting the focus manually, the AF points will light up as those parts of the picture come into focus.