I had a 2003 for about two years. I liked the decent power, high MPG, decent handling, easiest car ever to wash, high resale value, plenty of room for its size.
I did not like the heavy weight on the front, no limited slip, driving position was not ideal without a telescopic steering wheel, and the car image was a bit too cutesy for my subsequent job as a consultant.
I tried a WRX wagon, which had better power and driving position, but the handling felt a tad unstable except in rain and snow.
Then I tried a 2007 Audi A3 and it had gobs of power it was too heavy and was heavy on the front.
Now have a 325iT which I like the most of all.