So I settled on an 08 bright blue subaru forester. It was a rental, but doesn't show any obvious abuse or damage. I paid a little more than I had wanted to originally, but it's the closest thing to a new car I've ever owned, and I can afford the payment and I got a good interest rate, so it's all good in the end.
Also, when I (dad) bought the silver subaru dad used a CD as collateral and didn't put a lien on the car. He's been getting restless about getting his CD back, so now that the silver subaru is paid, he can have CD back. That's good, too.
All in all I'm happy with the purchase and with how it all went. It was a learning experience, and I always like learning experiences, so that's good, too.
Dear God, please let me keep this one for awhile? I'm going to try very hard to not have any accidents or speeding tickets. Amen.