WOW!!! 22k for a 08. I don't have a wrx yet either currently still saving or paying off my car ( not sure) what I want to do yet but around here in MA you can get an 09 or 10 for arounf 22k-23k. That is a rip in my opinion and it has been in 2 accidents. They should be giving it to you for around 15k. (maybe not that low) but anyway don't give in to the supply and demand. You want one bad enough and you will find a good one don't just jump in the first one available because they are scarce. They will pop up again just wait an keep saving. Thats what I'm doing and I have found at least 50 within a 100 mile radius and now there are more in transit and the dealers are calling me everyday. Hope this helps. I know I didn't answer questions about horse power but I'm not getting an 08 for the reasons you listed, thats what I have heard and read.