I'd take a used STi over a MS3. I read your novel of a post in the car purchasing section. There was obviously something wrong with that STi you drove. Just by the description.. paint, interior, etc.... Try finding another one 04-07 and then make a decsion from there. Plus if you are trying to avoid buying a MS3then it doesn't sound like you are all that interested in owning one. Why drop the $$$$$ on a car that you aren't really crazy about to begin with. If you can't find an STi you like.... Try looking into the EVO IX (the last MY) after all the EVO is the arch-nemisis of the STi and for good reason. I'd take one of those over a MS3 any day... you still get the AWD to.