I guess I always think along the lines of power-to-weight rather than just raw power. I guess if you throw SUVs and large sedans into the mix, maybe the average power goes up, but power-to-weight goes down! Plus torque is the more important number for acceleration, and the WRX has gobs. With the discontinuation of the Camaro/Firebird/Trans Am line, the WRX is just about the quickest car on the market under 40 or 50 grand. The only thing I can think of is the S2000, which is similar in quickness, but with no practicality. HHmmmm....what else? Audi S4 is just a tick slower at 40 grand or so. How much is a Turbo Mr. Two? Mercury Marauder?
Personally I'd be willing pay more for a WRX with less bells and wistles. No AC, no cruise, manual windows, flimsier interior plastic (flimsy = light!), less soundproofing etc. Trim a couple hundred pounds off of it for a lightweight special.