So, you have roughly $12k and want something with an emphasis on handling. You have just come from a Miata, so you are forever spoiled. You have to have minimum 150hp, preferably 200+. You either need 4 seats or good cargo room. Sunroof or droptop is a big plus. The less it weighs, the better. What do you buy?
Now this is just theoretical for now, because I'm not quite at this point yet, but soon.
Feel free to suggest anything I may have missed.
Mazda RX8- I'm a sucker for Mazda.
BMW e36 M3- I love BMWs
Nissan/Datsun S30- i'd love a 240z or 260z.
VW Mk5 GTI- I really want rwd, but the GTI is a worthy compromise.