Hell, except for bokeh/rendering, Canon's 35/2 IS is great too.
To me, that's half the optical equation right there.
Absolutely. The 35L/35/1.4G both come out on top here, but are significantly more expensive, and outside of potentially better focusing and weather sealing, fall far behind the Sigma in other areas.
I'd read it. It really says that for all intents and purposes, the score is nearly identical and well within the margin of error.
I wish I could link to the actual results, given that the 'scores' mean absolutely nothing unless you're incapable of looking at anything else.
Aside from being totally different lenses, the vignetting really stands out. When you're pushing the limits of the camera system it makes a huge difference in the usability of the system, where noise creeps in at higher ISOs, destroying definition and color when corrected. Significant vignetting beyond two stops from wide-open is unacceptable, really, particularly if you want to use the lens for landscapes, as one might with a moderate wide-angle lens. The Sigma has less vignetting under a stop from wide-open than the Sony does stopped all the way down to the diffraction limit. The only other lens I've seen do that is the cheapo (but sharp and nicely rendering) 22/2 for my EOS-M, which serves a similar purpose.
The difference in sharpness isn't a big deal, but it is there- not much to say about that, except that the Sigma's corners are sharper wide-open than the Sony's are wide-open, and obviously the Sigma is sharper across the frame at the same apertures.
The distortion on the Sony is also a bit annoying, but easy to correct; notably here the Sigma will likely not need any correction for nearly all uses, better preserving critical sharpness when needed.
A few other things to note, as I noticed that Photozone just got their FE35 review off recently.
-The Sony has slightly better bokeh in some circumstances, unless you're looking for smooth highlights, where it renders pinwheels. The Sigma's highlights are perfectly smooth, completely without bright edges or internal structure.
-The Sony has noticeably more longitudinal chromatic aberration than the Sigma at the same apertures.
Note that I'm not trying to bash the Sony lens, which is for it's uses an incredible optic, but rather to make a case for the Sigma's optical performance regardless of attached system. I really am expecting it to outperform the FE55 overall, and quite a bit in key areas like vignetting and longitudinal chromatic aberration.