I got my Golf as a graduation gift in 2007 and have been fairly happy with it. The guy that owned it before me put a clutch in it after learning how to drive a standard, has some sketchy rust spots (originally a VT car), the engine cuts out at odd moments (due to the MAF sensor), and the radio died a silent death when the battery was disconnected one day. Also, the drivers door lock cylinder comes out with the key and the vacuum-powered locking system doesn't work. Other than that and some routine maintenance, I love my VW and plan on buying a Mk. 4 ASAP. All my friends envy me my sporty little car and want either a Golf or a Jetta now.
8-speaker audio system, the ability to take on just about anything at a two-lane red light, the gas mileage that goes 100 miles on a quarter of a tank, the look and interchangeability of parts with the Jetta (I put in seats and silver gauges from a '98 GT), the aggressive stance and the ride.
More wisely-placed front cup holders!! aftermarket mass airflow sensor, power windows to go with the power sunroof, more durable front spoiler, electric power locks instead of vacuum, and a less unpredictable radio would all be nice.