I wasn't in the market for a new car until I was helping my sister buy her first new car and saw what a great deal the Focus was. I was able to get it for $13,200 out the door and loved everything about it. I had an 06 Corolla CE in manual and hated it. The quality of the Focus engine is well known (probably better than the Corolla) and so far the fuel economy is better. The Focus looks, runs, and drives better. I have to say I love this great American car.
I love the manual transmission. AUX input is a necessary feature for today's cars and Ford realizes it. Nice speakers and handling to boot.
Seats are a little uncomfortable on the really long drives. You feel as if your falling forward. The interior handles are easily broken (they are too far forward and don't have enough leverage.