I have had this car since it was brand new and I must say that it was a no- nonsense vehicle. There were some quibbles about the wheel bearings giving out quickly, but there is a TSB for fixing it, which to this day after 37,000 miles haven't needed to be replaced again. The clutch is a weak link in the drivetrain, so when it goes out, I HIGHLY suggest getting an aftermarket one. Other than that, the engine itself has been a jewel with only simple maintenance needed (i.e., oil change, coolant change, etc.) The car is a blast to drive, especially in the rain. Overall, a very good car with above average reliability that'll get you to where you want to go and have fun while driving it.
AWD - I haven't experienced it before, but I know I will never to back to a 2WD vehicle. Yes, you have to alter your driving style a bit when you first drive it, but the rewards are exhilarating.
Subaru should've dropped the 2.5 liter engine in the Outback Sport instead of sticking with the 2.2l. The Outback Sport caters to a totally different crowd than the 2.5RS and I feel that it would not have directly competed with it. Oh well, what do I know - I am just a consumer. :)