Bought my 2002 WRX from a college kid with 81k miles on it about 6 months ago. Car was quick, fun and clean as a whistle. I've seen these cars take more abuse than anything I would ever do to it and keep running. Put about a grand into the car and it out- performs its STI counterpart no problem. Keep up on regular checks and maintain your ride, can't beat the sound and feel of this car for ten grand. Get a quiet exhaust, up-pipe, downpipe and your mileage goes from 24-25 mpg to about 27.
Foot to the floor = all the power you need. Easy on the gas = 26-28 MPG.
The squeaky seatbelt was enough to get me to replace the seats entirely, and the cheap plastic brackets that hold the bumper on should be burned.