So I got the chance to meet up with a guy from the forum (real small world) just now and he has a nice black 2004 STi. We both went for a ride in each other's car. He'd never been in a WRX, and I, although having test-driven an STi, had never been passenger in one with someone who changes gear so well and aggressively!
After having a ride in each other's car which was mucho fun, we proceeded to have a few races with each other.
First race was from a stop. I have never been so humiliated. STi did a 'pseudo'-launch without much effort, whilst I proceeded to bog something horrible. STi was LITERALLY a mile down the road before I hit 3000rpm.
I decided to give the whole 'from-a-stop' race a miss, so we did a race from 20mph (1st gear for me) and a race from 40mph (2nd gear for me):
(Note that there were NO cars at all infront of us or around us at this time.)
I got the jump (because I went (slightly) first - oops!) but STi came back and had me before 40mph and proceeded to thunder away till around 80mph where we slowed.
Likewise, STi just completely destroyed me. It wasn't as if I was driving a Civic LX or anything, but the STi just has more power. I'd probably need a few $K in mods to keep up. I think, apart from the power, the thing I enjoyed most about the STi was the sound it makes. It's a very low rumbling that makes even the rumbling of the base WRX sound 'thin'. Very nice indeed. I didn't get any pictures this time, but I will very soon hopefully, since the STi owner lives only a few minutes from me.