20 years since my '86LX 5.0. Just bought a 2010 GT. This is a huge improvement with solid handling, strong and flexible V8 with a fantastic sound. I ordered 3.73 gears with a manual trans which do not disappoint. I knew mileage would suffer, but I like the extra push in the back. Interior is very nice with a clean layout and comfortable seats. Very quiet and composed in normal driving. It's not a sports car and not an all out drag car(though it's plenty quick), but it is the original pony car, the best iteration to date, and the most enjoyable car I've driven under $30k.
Manual trans is the best I've used to date. Good solid engagement. Engine had serious pull and is music to my ears. Ride quality and handling is perhaps one of the best compromises I've encountered in a daily driver. Styling upgrades on body panels are beautiful and made my friends smile.
More torque, better mileage, push the dash forward a bit a shrink the center console to open up the cabin, improve steering feel. Loose 250lbs. Ford, make your own brakes. I know you can match Brembos performance if you put your mind to it. Smaller steering wheel.