Bought a 2002 WRX yesterday. Needs some TLC on the body, but engine wise it seems to be great even with the 176000 miles. Engine was all stock, and nice and dusty so I could see if it was leaking anything or what parts were swapped out.
I plan on keeping it stock for the most part. Just swapping out rear rotors, pads, a couple wheel studs, front sway bar end links, newer tires. Then it should be ready to go. Previous owner had some work done to the passengers side door and they did a really really horrible job on it. My neighbor who is body man spotted it right away. He said it was nothing major though, and that he could fix it no problem.
I am coming from the SVT Contour community. Last car had a 3.0L swap and all sorts of goodies on it. Kicking myself for selling it.