i've missed this thread, as i was away for the weekend.. but to touch on a couple points discussed..
the solstice is certainly ugly, especially the interior, but its a step in the right direction. the gxp solstice will be making something like 280 hp.. not shabby. plus, pontiac is going to offer factory installed (yes, factory installed, not dealer installed) upgrades to appeal to the club racer and autox crowd. that includes springs (stiffer mainly.. just a tiny drop) and some other bits. i talked with the guy in charge of that project at pontiac's racing development and it seems pretty cool.. and without a doubt, a step in the right direction.. offering track tested, factory installed upgrades that aren't just body kits and bigger (heavier) alloy wheels. i prefer the sky's styling.. and if you get past the fact that its a saturn (saturn is slowly repositioning itself away from ultra boring to mainly boring with a couple of cool cars), its clearly the better of the two.
the sti/evo thing.. i've driven an 05 evo mr, 05 evo, and a handful of sti's... and i basically what sgladwell said is right. although the evo mr is a very good performer. the only reason i went with the sti over the evo mr was the interior... of which i believe the 05+ sti's have a pretty good one. the styling overall is ugly. they always have been and always will. they are upfront, ugly rally bred sedans. that is the nature of the beast. oh, and the 02+ wrx's are lots of fun.. i had an 03 for 2.5 years before getting the 05 sti last summer.
on to the point of the thread.. the incoming mx-5's are pretty nice, although i've never been a huge fan of the car. i have driven an old school 91 miati pretty extensively (i actually learned to drive on that car.. the clutch and shifter on that is great for the novice). its a fun car.. it has the connectedness that some (unfortunately, few) strive for, but it really doesnt meet any of my needs, even remotely.. i like 4 seats, 4 doors, a solid roof, and peaky (turboy) power.