After looking at Lexus, X5, Cayane, MDX, and the Audi. The Touareg is the smartest choice! VW did the right thing on adding the much needed horse power to the SUV, and the interior is nice and functional. VW is great but I would recommed the extended if you will keep for more than 5 years.
I love the aluminum trim, 19" wheels, exterior and interior design, standard sunroof. Capable towing capacity, leatherette does well.
Features that are expected for a 40k price tag -> Bluetooth, iPod dock, satellite radio. Nav system needs fine tuning. Wood trim needs desperate attention.