My first car was a 1990 240SX. Great car, but I like my Bimmer better. I also had a 99 Miata for a while, an 84 Supra, a pair of 77 (RWD) Celicas...
Weighing insurance, maintenance, and initial cost against just plain fun and joy, the Miata has my vote.
To be brutally honest, though, of the 20+ cars I've owned, the two that best fit that criteria were my '85 Mercedes 190E 5MT and my '92 Nissan Maxima SE (VE30DE, 5-speed). Cheap to insure, easy to maintain, and more fun than anything.
Good luck in your quest!
"The first step to failure is trying" -Homer Simpson