Bought the car new in 3/2002, very fun to drive. However, would agree that it is expensive to maintain. Oil changes and recommended mileage checkups are not cheap. Have read many postings about changing the timing belt between 60-70K (VW manual recommends 90K), plan to do, but will run 1000-1200K at an independent shop ($1500 at dealership). Concerned about oil sludge issues since the dealership did not use full synthetic until VW announced it should be standard (2004).
Fun to drive (turbo), solid, heavy car... feel safe in it. Heated seats.
Leatherette (do not buy) wears out quickly. Lower the cost to repair.