Hi, I just joined after buying my 2003 SVT 3 door on Saturday. It's red with all the options, 83K miles, stored winters so no MN rust. Seller has a baby coming and had to sell the Focus and his Harley. I am amazed that, at least around here, the SVT costs about the same as the tamer editions. Must be the manual trans. I only paid $5,500 which was a lot less than any other listing with similar miles.
I had a '95 Miata for 8 years and sold it this spring. But though I love my pickup and Land Cruiser, I missed the nimble roller skate. The only reason I even thought of the Focus was reading the comparison road test on the Road & Track site to check out small performer hatches. I am so impressed with the SVT. It has more power and torque than the Miata and heaps more comfort and refinement. Corners nearly as well and feels more controllable at the edges.
So far I am just planning on getting a major service w/timing belt, putting in some fresh bushings, and getting a performance tune mainly to improve the torque curve a little. My little sister is gaga over it but I'm afraid she will have to find her own.