Looking at the most fuel-efficient choices out there, I naturally settled on the Prius and Civic Hybrid (and held onto a secret wish for a Mazda 3 hatchback that could get 40 on the highway). The Prius had an appealing zen-like quality to it, but it just wasn't comfortable for someone my size (6'3"). Acknowledging my natural Hondaphile leanings, I drove the HCH (with some reservations over the supposedly "underwhelming" performance). After that, it was a no-brainer. It accelerates more than well, never once leaving me with that sinking, sluggish feeling. Add to that comfortable seats and billet-like build quality, and I feel I got a premium-class car with 45 mpg for $21.5K. Very happy.
Performance (acceleration & steering), tight handling, very solid & quiet structure, comfortable & ADJUSTABLE seats (unlike Prius), $1050 tax credit, the satisfaction that you're acknowledging the kind of driving you really do, not the kind you want to do.
Wish the rear seat had some kind of a trunk pass-through, but other than that, nothing. Highly recommended.