I've never had more fun in a car than in my MINI JCW. It pulls hard from 2500-5000 RPMs, corners like no other, brakes instantly, and looks outstanding (mine's dark grey with a black roof). It's nice to be the envy of everyone on the road, especially others driving a Cooper or Cooper S. In fact, the sense of community with other MINI drivers is one of my favorite aspects of the car. I was fortunate enough to be in a financial situation where I could afford the JCW, and the slight performance increase (and I mean slight - it's not much) and exclusivity factor made the extra money worth it. HOWEVER, for anyone more sensible than I, the Cooper S is plenty fun and very much less expensive
John Cooper Works 2dr Hatchback (1.6L 4cyl Turbo 6M)
I have a 2009 JCW I love how the car looks and drives. I currently have 96,000 miles on the vehicle, I am at the Mini Dealer every month at $1,000 dollars a pop. Do not buy this car if you are use to Honda/Acura reliability. It is a pleasure to drive, but expect expensive and frequent maintenance .