You don't mention what aspect of the 50D you're after. If it's the build quality, that'll never reach the entry level models. If it's the image quality, the 550D should surpass it.
Well its not IQ as my 350D does fine here, when it actually gets the focus right. The build quality is nice in the 50d, but I could get by with out a magnesium body. The 50D just feels good in my hands. I mentioned MFA and faster FPS, but also the ability to track AF in sports settings. According to the-digital-picture's review, the 50D does a much better job of AF tracking in sports than the 500D and I really think that will come in handy as my children get older.
Besides, this is the entry level model for Canon and it really delivers as an entry level camera.
You are so right there. However, I was wishfully holding out hope that the T2 would be the big brother to the T1 and not a replacement. Obviously to me now its more of a replacement.