I think that 2.3 special edition is probably worth the money if the condition goes along with the low miles. I'd want to keep it in good shape and low miles though, wouldn't want it to run up a ton of miles as a daily driver.
Yes, the 2.6 was black and basically had what looked like a -16v interior in it, a sportier look. The 2.3's were all green and had wood trim on the dash and so forth, neither of them had the 2.6 or 2.3 badge on the trunk lid either. Do a search, I think I did a post on this quite a while ago.
I actually had the fear that you mentioned so I made sure that I took all the keys to the dealer. And you are right, the new keys look a bit different than the old key. So I know it wasn't the key.
I don't understand what you're telling me here; I thought you only had 1 key, so how do you know it's not the key if you only have one? I missed something here.