It's acutally the 2002 RS 2.5 / WRX body style that caught my attention. I was looking in the 2002 guides for Civic, Neon, Focus, etc. and wsa taken aback by the look of the current model. I am more fond of it than of the old style, I must say, though I gather that this is mostly a old-school bodystyle crowd and I'm likely offending. Not my intention!
Some people like the old body style better (like most of us), some like the new style (like you). It's all opinion and it's all good, since the good stuff is all under the body anyways. Remember, there's no replacement for displacement, and the 2.5 NA has more low-end grunt than the 2.0 FI. On a tight, first-gear-only rally-cross or auto-cross, the WRX never really gets boost built up, and I've never had a stock one finish close to me at any of the rally-crosses I run in. The magic is in the drivetrain, not the body