So, I've spent the last month going back to my 50mm. I have some pretty good lenses (240-70 f/2.8, 70-200 f/2.8), so it isn't something I have to do but I found myself getting lazy and wanted to challenge myself more. I also like the idea of carrying light for travel because I travel once a week (overnight) for business and it was a way to take my camera along without the bulk of the rest of my gear.
I guess going back to the 50mm and forcing myself to use it more often hasn't been easy. Whilst the quality is good (particularly compared to a kit lens that most people would have), it's not the easiest lens to create pictures out of because you don't have the advantage of zoom when you need it. It has on the other hand forced me to think a little more about my photos which has been great. On the downside, the focus speed is nothing short of dismal compared to my other lenses.
Anyway, personal circumstances aside, what are the general thoughts. Should the 50mm (or 35 on DX) be a mandatory purchase for first time photographers?