I bought a 5 speed manual brand new. Had some hassles negotiating the price, but it was worth it. I commute about 100 miles a day, and I didn't baby it. About half of the commute was highway, which I regularly drove at 80+ mph, and the other half was stop & go. By the time I gave it to my brother in 2002, it had about 236K miles. The only real problem I had was the original tires had to be replaced around 20K miles. Over 8 years, I replaced the muffler, timing belt (2-3 times) and the drive axles, all considered normal wear and tear or better. I washed it maybe once a year. Now that my brother babys it and cleaned it up, it looks brand new. It still has the original paint!
Reliability - never had a problem. Very quick - I suprised a lot of so-called sports cars.
V6 with manual. I believe the 4 cylinder Accord w/Manual is a better value than the Acura TL Manual, but an Accord V6 Manual would be the best of all.