This is a great start for a truly easy to use task list app. I've tried Anxiety, which quickly became wearisome with its floating window, and various Dashboard widgets (the best being To Do Widget). SoCal, even at version 0.5+, is the most fluid way of managing to do items I have tried yet.
Of course, as a beta level app, SoCal still has a few missing features. The most important is already on the developer's roadmap: creating new tasks. Right now, SoCal can only manage tasks that already exist. The second missing feature (and the first I noticed was absent) is the ability to choose the sorting order. Right now the list sorts by priority, whereas I usually like to sort by due date. I would love to see a menu item near the bottom of the menu (along with About SoCal, Open iCal, and Quit) that let me choose the sorting order. Third, it would be very nice to be able to see the due date of an item in the list.
A last minor criticism is that completed items are indicated using a pushpin icon. A check mark would be much more appropriate (in fact, switching the pushpin to be the main menu bar icon and the check mark to be the completed item icon would make the best sense to me).
On the other hand, SoCal already includes some features that are just brilliant. First is the addition of flagging, which provides another way of differentiating tasks from one another. I've only had it for a few minutes and it already seems natural. (The term "flagging" is a bit of a misnomer, since no flag icon is displayed next to flagged items. Instead, a flagged item is shown in bold text. Personally I find this to be better than a flag icon, since it draws attention to the item more effectively.) Second, the Collections menu item gives fast access to all sorts of smart groups within your tasks, including grouping by calendar, priority, due date, completion status, and flagged status. It's a great way to get to just the tasks you need.
Finally, I love that almost all the things one would want to do with a to do item can be done with just one click. Move your mouse over an item, and a submenu immediately pops out to let you change its priority, mark it as completed, flag it, etc. Or just click once on the item itself to edit it in iCal.
Thanks to the developer. I look forward to seeing the upcoming versions!