The E46 (penultimate) BMW M3 just might be the perfect car for you, too.
I have always loved driving fast cars. I drove a blue '71 Mustang Mach 1 through most of college and a pretty red '93 Ford Escort wagon got me to and from teaching gigs and concerts. I have motor oil in my blood. I needed two cars to satisfy the "carry my stuff around without breaking the bank... or the car" and the "get me someplace fast and in style" requirements.
Fast forward (ahem... cough... already?) years and I've lately had the pleasure of driving a Silver 2003 BMW M3. This is a machine that laps the Nüburgring in 8:22, gets from "naught to sixty" in 4.6 seconds. You wouldn't expect it, but the back seat is actually usable for two non-American-sized people and they both fold down to reveal almost station-wagon-like cargo space, passing through to the trunk. No kidding. I brought a 6' wire shelf home the other night. In real - world driving, it gets just barely less than 30 miles / gallon on the highway, which is waaay better than the latest M3, which, while it has 414 HP and obviously flies, gets about 20 MPG on the highway. That's worse than my E46 city numbers of 23 MPG or so, even though I drive with occasional (ahem) spirit. The engine redlines at 8000 RPM and the peak horsepower and torque both live very near that (around 7000), which means you have to grow accustomed to keeping the car above about 3000 RPM if you want any kind of torque. Oddly, that's a good thing. When you want to drive conservatively, it's easy to do so as the car has relatively little low-end power. If you want to throw it around a bit, keep the revs up. Simple. Very girlfriend friendly driving down low, grins up high.
(Over the break for pics and more)