There I was replacing the chain and rear cluster (again!) at the LBS when I see a box by the workstation. In it is an sram truvativ 9 speed 48t crank set... thats just the right size for my bike. So I'm thinking no your crank set is good when the owner offers it to me for 1/2 price. Seeing that I'd just changed the chain and rear cassette anyway and my crank set was 9000km down anyway I though why not? That and if the front cog is 48 then I can use the 11t cog at the back less and it won't wear out nearly as often. I can't see myself wanting to use 48-11 all that often. Perhaps the larger gears will hold up for longer before they wear down.
Its a bit picky getting it work with the 8 speed cassette at the back, but then again, since I managed to fudge the shimano 8 speed FD to work all I need is a rear derailer, cassette, and shifter and I can upgrade to 27 speed. Here we go again... This bike has evolved from a BSO to something with components and a frame bringing it up to about $1500.