Here's my beef with the "sport" attribute in SUVs: why would you want to have your SUV handle like a sports car? You buy an SUV for three primary reasons: interior room, higher seating position, and AWD. An SUV will never handle as good as a sports car, and paying for such a thing is like trying to paint an apple orange to turn it into an orange. It may look like one, but it will never be like one. My general feeling about this is that you should get a real sports car, albeit something lesser than a Porsche if you can't yet afford one; then buy a cheap, but proper SUV, e.g. Jeep Grand Cherokee. You can both afford a nice sports car and a nice SUV, then get both. Buying a "sport" SUV is a waste of money, IMO, because you're paying for a feature that's incongruous with the rest of the car.
Notice we did not pick the Porsche, even though it had the sportier steering input. I agree, an SUV is never going to handle like a sports car and you nailed the three main reasons to get one. You left out the most important reason in my case though: it's what my wife wanted
We do have a "proper" SUV too, my Lexus LX (that's the one based on the Land Cruise frame). I'm never gonna take it rock hopping, for obvious reasons, but I'll put it up against a Grand Cherokee in rains, snow, mud, etc. I'm looking forward to driving the new LX too, with that sweet new engine from the Tundra.
Back to the OP, as Leather Soul pointed out, you did mention a price point. Why not check out an 08 Infiniti FX? As a model change is due in 09, I bet you could get one helluva good price on one of those right now and get a full factory warranty.