After over 3 years of test driving new cars (yes, I realize that's a bit much) I finally decided on the new S40. I drove the Acura TL (it gave me whiplash between every gear in the AUTOMATIC!), Infiniti G35 (performed well, but looks like plastic on the inside), Nissan Mazima (cornered like the car was on stilts), Honda Accord (GREAT car, but not as classy as I wanted), and many many more. Out of all these, the Volvo had the best performance, and best interior/exterior design, without giving into the BMW's poor reputation for reliability. I'm focused on reliability and quality while still getting soemthing I ENJOY driving. I've had the Volvo S40 for 6 months and no signs of problems.
Handling and design are far the best part about this car. I got mine loaded with extras (minus the nav) but the handling is still the part I'm most impressed with.
The Miles Per gallon could be better (25/34), but that's IT!