After I test drove it, I canceled my other test drives and bought the GTI. Mine is actually a 2006.5, but it has the same features as the 2007 model. I love almost everything about it, especially its power. I opted for the manual transmission because I like the feel of shifting myself. the clutch and shifter are very smooth. The interior design seems well thought out, and has lots of nice little extra features I never got in my American cars. It is relatively quiet for a little car. It has really brought back the pleasure of driving for me, which I thought I had lost.
The power and responsiveness. The hatchback is very handy. I appreciate the built-in compass and trip computer features. It gets respectable gas mileage for a performance car. I got 29 mpg on two long road trips driving 80-85 mph.
The speedometer reads 10% too high - VW does this on purpose apparently. I've learned to mentally compensate. The spare tire jack is tricky to use right. Use it wrong and you can damage your trim. I wish it had factory installed tire pressure monitoring - I added my own aftermarket one.