It's a great lens, but in my experience f2.8 often isn't wide enough for a lot of work indoors without a flash. Also, if you prefer shallow dof portraits, 55mm f2.8 isn't really all that shallow.
Does this mean that to get some of those nice background blur (I believe the term for this is bokeh), you should shoot at the longest range of the lens - like 55 for this 17-55 or 200 for a 70-200 lens, assuming the distance will allow it?
Is this the way to maximize background blur?
Thanks for the tips.