I came from a 2005 wrx, so it's a little slow, but it's definitely a peppy car.
I have the manual. It really should be 6-speed because of the way it's geared. First has a ton of torque, almost to the point of annoyance in the rain. Very easy to spin the tires unintentionally.
It's pretty comfy. I haven't taken any super long trips on it, only about three hours. No ass hurting problems. It's also very quiet. Every once in a while I will be on the highway and not realize i am in 4th because i can't hear the engine, pretty different than the wrx.
If you get the upgraded sound system, the interface for browsing your ipod is horrendous. If you want more than like three seconds it goes back to the home menu and you have to start all over again.
There's not a lot of storage. So if you haul stuff a rabbit or something might be a better choice. But it will hold four people comfortably, as long as you abide by the "no fatties" rule.
Gas mileage is pretty good. Most i've gotten on a tank is about 340 (all highway). Least is about 290 (all city). Normal is about 310-320 before i fill up. It takes regular 87.
Overall, it's not a bad car. It looks cool and does everything pretty well. I definitely don't like it as much as my wrx, but i knew i wouldn't when i got it. I've probably been a little harsher on it than it deserves.
If you have any other questions let me know. Sorry for the thread jack.