The OB has always been on my car shortlist and I finally got an 08 2.5i 5MT to replace my much-loved and performance tuned 03 1.8T Passat wagon. I immediately upgraded the tires and the rear sway bar - instant handling upgrade. The 2.5i is really well matched to the 5MT (I've been disappointed by rental 4ATs OBs before). Have been averaging ~25+ mpg overall - 70/30 highway/urban. This is my first AWD car and its been interesting in the recent snows - its a new driving experience that's for sure. All in all, I am happy with my purchase and am enjoying true motoring with the 5MT. No warranty issues so far (6k miles) and as I stated in the title - its the best bang for my new car buck!
AWD, 5MT, low cost of ownership compared to my old Passat, ease of access to key regular maintenance items
Better armrest without paying option price for it, moonroof option for 2.5i, 5MT for LTD models