The method I used does not involve iCloud or iTunes. First, you open iCal. Click the bold iCal (next to File). Select Preferences. Add account. For this, you'll need to add an email account you use regularly.
On your iPhone, go to Settings. Then to Mail, Contacts, Calendars. Go to Add Account and add the same email address you have listed on your iCal account. Now scroll all the way to the bottom of the page and change your default calendar to this email address.
Now everytime you add an event to your calendar from the iPhone, it will sync to your computer's iCal. You will have to manually change previous events, but from now on, all events entered will sync. Go ahead and try it! After you're done adding both accounts, go back to the macbook and go to the Calendar tab, press refresh all. There you go!
I just figured this out today so any additional questions beyond this I haven't figured out yet. Hope this helps!
Do you think this will work with an Imac also (refurb just purchased in January)? Before I had this I had a 7 year old Imac with OS 10.5.11? Tiger, And Itunes 5. WHen I got my first Iphone 4s over a year ago, I could sync both ways with my Ical, and if conflicts, it would have me choose the right one. SInce then I have upgraded the phone software once and Itunes to 11.0, with the new machine and it only seems to sync Imac calendar to phone not vice versa. Even that is not 100% of the time! It is maddening as I need to have boyh calendars be the same for obvious reasons, but mainly because I am partly self-employed with many "gigs" I schedule.
AND I don't want to use the cloud.