I purchased my STi used two years ago, and have loved every minute! I live in NE Wisconsin and enjoy twisty roads in the summer on performance tires, and switch to snow tires in the winter. What an amazing car that does so many things well. The mechanical build quality is superb, steering feedback is great and tracks like the cars on rails, and suspension is taught. WARNING: The suspension is firm, most would call harsh. It's a rally car, buy a Buick if your not hardcore about suspension firmness. The drivetrain is a gem. The 2.5 L turbo and 6 speed manual are perfect matches. Fuel economy is great for a performance car, I average 21 mpg with a lot of highway commuting.
The interior is well executed on a budget to keep the car affordable. The blue alcantara seats w/STi sticking upfront is a nice touch, and a great alternative to leather. The power is awesome! My car is stock except for a short shifter and you'll intimidate anything short of supercars.
The stock shifters throw is a bit long. I drove with it for 9 months and then upgraded to a short throw shifter. What a difference! Throws are crisp, precise, and rifle bolt- action like. In my opinion, Subaru should have just built them that way to start with.