Great photos Ruff and congratulation on the new camera! What lenses did you end up getting for it?
Canon are renowned for having their focus be a little all over the place so it might not be you at all. I have a Canon 450d which is some versions down from yours and I love it.
i've bought heaps of great camera books but probably the best for learning about all the camera's features is the Canon EOS for Dummies book. There's one for most of the versions out there and even if you could only find one for a more basic model it would probably still be quite useful. Sometimes there only a handful if features which are different.
Another thing I have found amazingly helpful is joining a camera club. I've been going to the local one here and all the members are so friendly. They have monthly competitions so you can challenge yourself with photos and moving up the grades. Being a member of the club also give you special priveleges, for example we've been given special passes for the masters games running on the Gold Coast, so we get to wander around the competitions getting up close and trying to take good photos of the athletes. The club is heaps of fun and really handy to bounce ideas off other people and get suggestions on how to take better photos. I'm still an absolute newby and for my recent birthday one of my gifts was lessons with a professional photographer. I can't wait to have help with all the questions I have specific to my camera.
Ive put some links in to some great photography websites (there's a lot out there!) some of which have regular emails they send out with hints and tips.http://www.picturesocial.com/http://digital-photography-school.com/forum/
Can't wait to see more of your photos