I was fortunate enough to stumble across a laser blue, dark tinted window Protege 5 at the dealership after it was just traded in, and not even listed for sale yet. GREAT buy! Perfect condition, and well maintained by the previous owner.
55k when I got it in 2006. Now I have 96K, and have only had to do regular maintenance on it: oil changes every 3-5K, headlights, fluids, tires etc. I've replaced all 4 tires by now (2 of which were a result of punctures).
I am now replacing the drive belts (pretty badly cracked), timing belt, and water pump (as a precaution).
Overall I have to say that I love this car. It's sporty-looking, is fun to drive (handles great), and is very reliable thus far.
My only gripe is the usual one: it needs more power to complete the sporty look and handling.
Headlights tend to go out more often, but it's probably pretty close to your average car as far as that goes.
Also, stiff suspension = great handling at the expense of a comfortable ride. I personally like it, but some people may not. Also, there's a lot of road/wind noise when driving at high speeds. Great mileage though.
I would highly recommend this model to anyone who's looking for a reliable, practical and sporty car that won't break the bank.