great advice, just what I was looking for (and to some extent making some of my fears come true! which is a good thing). I've never purchased a used car, but I've never ever considered dumping 5-10K into my current car so that it lasts a long time, now I'm starting to think this way. Actually, if I can make it to the summer of 2014 hopefully the 6th gen has GT version and doesn't look totally bad, then I'll just get it.
I will still take the WRX for a spin, but sounds like it is not even going to be an option.
Now I need to find a mechanic who has a vision of taking my car forward...