Sorry to hear about your Sunfire. We all have stories of buying used cars and spending WAY OVER the cost just to keep it running. Pontiac didn't make good cars and I had a roomate who had a Sunfire that he beat the hell out of (maybe this was his car!).
But seriously, if you have any money left over and you are in the $2000 range, get a 2004 and up Mitsubishi Lancer. Consumer Reports rated the 04 excellent in 17 areas (Ralliart version is a blast but expensive and hard to find).
I disagree with the previous comments.
The comment saying Pontiac didn't make good cars is not true. Pontiac is what I have owned my entire life. I've never had a problem with any of my Pontiac vehicles. The Pontiac division of GM made awesome, strong, reliable vehicles. It's a shame they quit production, and this part is off topic, but GM didn't quit production on Pontiac because they weren't good cars, because Pontiacs are just as good if not better than any other brand! That's the plain and simple fact. The people who claim that Pontiac isn't made anymore because of bad quality need to get their facts straight! Quality had nothing to do with WHY Pontiac name/badge was put to rest, so to the people who say well Pontiac isn't around for a reason, what I have to say to that is yes, there is a reason, but learn the reason first, because it had nothing to do with quality or reliability!
People don't call Pontiac a junkie brand just because it isn't made anymore! Have a real reason other than Pontiac not being made anymore, before you call the entire division/brand junk.
I have a 2001 Sunfire with 200,000 miles, and don't have a problem with it.
Oh yeah, I got it with 155,000 and paid $1200. Best little car I have owned.