I hate damp days in my truck and it's got a LSD and 305 width tires. My 97 Eclipse GST convertible was a nice cruiser but I was SOL if it was wet and it was 99% stock. Just getting up to speed was a challenge, though it was an open diff and crap stock tires.
I loved my 89 Mirage turbo - it could peel a tire from a 70 punch (open diff and 195 width tires FTW). It was hard to nail a launch vs anything but another FWD car but on a roll its 14b and 1.6 liters defied physics vs. cars that should have won on paper. I've driven a couple of 20g'ed FWD DSMs and they were fantastic up top. Bigger turbos are just traction control for FWD
Oh, and I'm always WOT in the rain because I know the other people can't. Sure there are plenty of days of good weather but a solid week of cold rain in the winter or the insta-showers we get in the summer will drive you crazy.
Like you said, I'd recommend AWD for less experienced drivers just because of how forgiving it is. The SRT4 is easier to go fast in, the engine is bulletproof, and I love the seats.