My wife just traded her '11 Countryman for
another '11 Cooper "S" -- she previously owned an '05 "S" and thought AWD was the way to go.
She knew the minute we drove off the lot (w/Countryman) that she would be back for another hardtop--just no comparison.
The '11 hardtop is great -- Mini has worked hard to refine the hardtop over the years and it shows.
The quality of the car is outstanding whether you're talking about engine performance, handling, interior quietness...it's all better!