Thanks to everyone for great comments ... I am a bit picky on cars, so what everyone has said is consistent ... look for a good one! I will also usually pay a bit more for a nice one than many would - I keep 'em long enough to suitable amortize the marginal premium ...
Only thing dragging me is the poor fuel mileage issue ... have to figure some way to not think about it! Even though it has been 20 years, I still yearn for the 50 MPG I got with my diesel Rabbit ...
1991 350 SDL (200K and she ain't bent, yet)
former 2002 E320 4Matic Wagon - good car
former 1985 300 CD - great car
former 1981 300 TD - good car
former 1972 280 SEL - not so good car
a couple of those diesel Rabbits ...40-45 mpg