Since writing that review I test drove a couple of alternatives; the 911 Turbo and the Ferrari Modena. To my surprise, once you have got past the badge and the amazing looks, the modena is no better a car than a 911 in my opinion. Performance was similar, and although the trim would be superior to a standard 911, it was much on a par with my own 911 custom interior.
911 Turbo on the other hand drives just like my car, but is brutally quick. It would make a meal of the Ferrari modena under most conditions. It gives you a facelift when you accelerate!
In the mean time I had a sports exhaust added to my 911- I must say that this has increased my enjoyment of the car hugely; instead of quiet speed, and docile traffic behavior, it now snarls and roars, a real non PC pleasure! I would say if you are buying a new 996 make sure to get a sports exhaust fitted, it's money well spent. The character of the car is pretty much completely changed by this simple upgrade.
So now I'm not entirely sure what to get next!
Don't really get the whole Porsche thing. They're ageing icons for ageing dreamers. When you can buy a 4-door saloon that can carry you and four passengers in safety, just as quickly, and with huge surefootedness down twisty lanes, I don't see why you'd fold yourself up into a 2-door coupe that is expensive to buy, expensive to maintain, expensive to insure, regularly equated with the male member (along with its driver) and less exclusive by the hour. If I had Turbo money I'd be after a Bentley Coupe. Or in fact any one of the solid all-rounders that isn't a Porsche!
I own a 2003 996 tt x50. it is absolutely awesome. I have owned many performance cars and this one takes the cake. luxurious, sure footed and unbelievably fast, this is the car to own in the 911 family.
When my local Ferrari dealer totaled my Testarossa on a "test drive" I decided to reevaluate my loyalties. While fun to drive, the Ferrari had been very expensive to maintain. The catalytic converters went out twice, the alternator once, the seat belts (motorized) endless times, and the battery every two years. All this in a car that had 11,000 miles on it when crashed. Very often the service technicians were mystified as to how to repair malfunctions. The original service estimates were almost invariably grossly under quoted.
The 5 year/ 15,000 mile service cost nearly $14,000.
Now I own a Porsche 911 Turbo X50. The car is much faster and yet more comfortable to drive. The build quality is superior and to date the car is MUCH more reliable than my Ferrari. When I get in the Porsche I know it will start, a feeling sadly lacking with my Testarossa. I do not get as much attention in the Porsche, however, I have reached the stage in my life where my ego does not depend on such.
The X50 is an exotic that is incredibly (ie., scary) fast, reliable, responsive, good looking, and driveable. Is that not what everyone is looking for in a sports car?