Well, I bought what I wanted! Thanks everyone for weighing in. I have indeed driven most of my previous vehicles into the ground. It was definitely time for something different. The van I was driving had been my Dad's previously. I kept it largely because as a family it was still useful to us. But, the repair bills were beginning to approach the cost of a car payment and as I've had to commute more, the fuel costs were growing too.
So, I am now the proud owner of a 2010 Chevy HHR SS. Fun, reasonably fuel efficient, and with a good amount of cargo space. Got it with just over 18,000 miles so it should last me a good long while if I take care of it.