Well bluewrx8 the 23,000 i got was with the 3000 discount and then i got extra money off like that stupid detailing fee and crap and i got the short shifter and spoiler thrown in because they couldnt get me the color i wanted (white) so i picked up the crystal gray metalic for that deal. it was a steal, i think.
the reason i recomended the 05 is because of the little minor things such as the headlights and the muffler and the interior. but like i said it all depends on how much you got to spend. being from the honda world i know that that doesnt mean anything because everything is interchangable (i.e. the saab 9x lether seats will fit the WRX because its the same damn car... hehe) so you can change the molding and the headlights and if you go aftermarket exhaust then you dont care about the muffler. honestly around where I am there were no NEW 04's and I dodnt want to go through the hasstle of trying to find a used one that had not been raped. this way i get to brake it in, i am the first owner, and i know exactly what happens to it. plus the price difference is not that great. maybe around a grand (thats 1000).
I can give you a suggestion and tell you how I did it and mayeb it will help you and maybe it wont.
First I e-mailed 4 dealers and said 22,500 is what im willing to pay for a white one and 2 laughed at me and one said it was impossible. then the 4th said we are the largest dealer in cali so we can do it or come within inches. then i go there and they dont have a white so we bargain and they are trying to puchh off whats on the lot so they give me a deal because they see how "dissapointed" i am that they dont have a white. after about 5 hours I had my scooby.
hope it helped if not you can always post more questions and i will help you out as much as i can.