Using a flash diffuser is the best way to get soft light with the flash on your camera, ensuring that light from your flash is much smoother and balanced. Have you ever thought about making one yourself?
I cringe when I hear of someone buying a Lightsphere because it's too darn expensive for what you get. It's easily replicated with a piece of Tupperware. When it comes to flash diffusers I'm firmly in the DIY camp.
You can also make one with just a thick piece of paper and a rubber band. @ePIC, although I agree that it's overpriced, I understand why some photographers opt for buying it instead of cobbling one together. It stays put and it looks professional. For some photographers that's enough.