Preface: I did my homework, and shopped around pretty extensively. I knew what I was buying (an economy car), and held the civic to those standards. First, a few minor quibbles: 1. Thickness and durability of the paint is disappointing. I'm finding too many chips on this young a car. 2. I can't locate the source of some random clunk coming from the right rear wheel... Other than that, all I have for the civic is praise. The car handles famously considering its class and competition, and the ride quality is uncompromised. It's solid, doesn't get flustered over bumps, and inspires much more confidence than my previous car (a 1998 Audi A6).
I waited for the '09s specifically for the USB interface.. and I'm glad I did. The stock radio sounds great for a car in this segment, the manual transmission is buttery smooth, and I love the styling, inside and out. Win. Oh, and 31 city MPG makes me happy.
Paint thickness! Some extra sound-deadening material could have been used, but I find road noise to be acceptable overall.