My first day with my first v-dub, it is easily the best car (for the price) that I think I've ever driven. The balance of power and fuel economy is perfect and the styling of the car is gorgeous inside and out. I got the 5 spd SE with leather, cold weather pkg and the premium sound system. Can't say much about the reliability because it's only been 1 day. If you're looking for an affordable car that performs across all categories you can stop looking, the 2008 Jetta is it.
Premium sound, interior design (very cool ambient red l.e.d's light the front of the cabin when the lights are on), the seats are amazingly comfortable.
The auxiliary MP3 input is in quite possibly the most inconvenient place they could have put it except for maybe the trunk. I'm going to have to spend another $300 for the dealer installed iPod dock.