Great review and recommendation. Picked one up a few weeks ago and I'm loving it! Got the premium version and since I'm over 6 ft tall I got the 58 cm version and added a new handlebar with 5" rise and it's perfect now. This is the funnest bike I've ever had.
Is the 5-speed manual really available on all models? I thought if you wanted a 4-door Golf with a manual transmission, your were limited to the GTI. On VW's website, it looks like only the Golf S w/sunroof has the optional 5-speed.