I've had my Focus since I bought it new in 2000. Unless you really can't afford otherwise, I don't think that I would recommend it. Maybe I got a lemon, but every problem I've seen on this site, I've had, and it's only got 36,000 on it (after 5 years!). Lots of recalls, but major mechanical problems (heating core, trans, various bizarre coils and tubes and valves). You really don't save that much on the sticker after all of the repairs. Also, it was fast & fun to drive for the first two years, then consistently idled high, was sluggish and generally seems to be dying, despite going in for repairs once a month these days. Ford service (especially dealers) is abysmal. Sad part is that I'm attached to it.
Affordability (initially); room (carried a couch in there once); handled well early on. Has handled increasingly worse over the years and the various repairs are expensive.
Not sure if this has been corrected in later models but this car keeps falling apart in increments. Major structural mechanical overhaul needed. And yeah, the cupholders are really stupidly placed.