I purchased the 2010 GTI after selling an Audi 2.7T that was fun to drive but a financial nightmare to repair. I've got 1200 miles on my base level GTI, and have got to say that it's the best vehicle I've owned. The base package includes everything but premium wheels, nav/stereo and sunroof and I must say that for 23k its a steal. The car handles incredibly, cruises well on the freeway (29-32 mpg at 75 mph) and is nice a beauty to look at. Only flaw is that the touchscreen menu for the stereo is hard to navigate through (to switch cds or ipod tracks) while driving.
Smooth 6spd, exhaust note under heavy acceleration, plaid seats, steering wheel and red trim throughout