Have put 3000 miles on an SE with the sport package.
Yes the transmission takes some getting used to and perhaps some wear in on the part of the car - it feels a little like a novice driving a manual transmission at first.
The car handles well with even less body roll in the corners than the Acura Integra I drove and loved years ago.
The brakes are superb and I suggest going with the sport package to get discs on the rear wheels if you get an SE.
I am 6'5" and there is plenty of room up front for me.
Averaging 32 mpg in mostly suburban driving.
Overall this is a fine car.
Handling, cornering, braking, plenty of power once you get off the blocks, fuel economy, fit and finish.
It's tight and feels well made.
Adjust the transmission to let the dog bark a bit more in the low gears.
Not sure how to fix this but getting in and especially out is a bit of a chore - you have to make a concerted effort to step over the door sill and when getting out you end up with the rocker panel against your calf.