This is my first roadster and let me say it is awesome. This car is just a blast to drive. I never considered the Solstice because it's a GM product and I couldn't get over it's "look at me" flashy design. The engine in the MX-5 is a gem, as is the transmission. I couldn't imagine buying this car with an auto. The handling is amazing, as is the top operation. This certainly isn't the fastest car I've owned, but with this car you don't need to be breaking the speed limit to have fun. It really is like driving an oversize go-cart, which is why I bought it. On top of that it's pretty practical for a Roadster, with a usable trunk and plenty of interior storage.
The 2.0l engine that revs like a dream; the 6-speed manual, best shifting transmission I've ever used, save for maybe an S2000. The go-cart like handling is a blast. The headlights are awesome; easily the brightest I've seen (easily better than our 03 Odyssey). Brakes are super strong, love the looks.
A few things: 1. Give the transmission a taller sixth gear, buzzes at 4K going 80mph 2. Remove door cupholders, they bang on your knee. Can't think of anything else.