Okay final word. Went back to the shop and applied more control - put the cam on timer and made sure the tripod was a good one. The results were better for the 24-105 - it pulled even with the kit lense.
Sooooooooo is the 24-105 is a good lense. I like the brightness of the shots over the kit lens. I like its rapid focus and good looks, BUT ..is that difference worth 1000 clams or so ??? The answer is no.
For now I will wait and see if the price on the 24-105 comes down and maybe overthe next year or sothe lense willbe refined .. My 18-55 will suffice for now. I picked up a sharp F 2.8 70-200 to cover the upper range. Heavy but great lense