I was pretty harsh, yeah. But I'd not give up on a GTI if I were you, unless you really can't sleep with giving VW money. There are few cars out there with the combination of size, performance, and simply good "feel" as the GTI. I love small, manual-transmission cars, and can't have rear-wheel drive practically where I live (northern Vermont, with terrible roads, hills, and bad winters). There are not a lot of cars anymore in the hot hatch category, and the GTI is a killer value in the base model.
But I did let them have it with both barrels pretty much.