I purchased my Civic Si 3 years ago. I have had absolutely no problems with this vehicle. transmission is amazing, clutch feel is great, handling is excellent for a front wheel drive. Understand its a civic, and while it's the performance model of a civic, it's power is only moderate or a bit lacking by todays standards. gas mileage is great and reliability is fantastic.
quality, transmission, shifter location, handling seats... overall it's great for a reasonably priced, reasonable performance car.
more power under the hood, just a few years later it is 40 - 80 HP short on it's "competitors", but in all fairness it didn't have a ton of competition until a couple years after it was made.