I had 1973 Mini with a 1340 engine and various other modifications and have just bought a MINI 2005 JCW.
My Mini was a car i loved and hated in equal amounts. It made me smile and made me cry and it helped me learn how to fix cars. After about 5 years i let the Mini go, do i regret it? Yes, sometimes when the sun is shining or i see one blast past me i remember what it was like owning one BUT then i remember what it was like ACTUALLY owning one and seeing it spend most of it's time swallowing my money and refusing to start when all i wanted to go was go for a drive or go to a show. It wasn't all bad but towards the end of my ownership i'd decided it was time to move on.
Now around 10 years on i've moved onto a MINI 2005 JCW. When it launched and i still had my Mini i swore i would never have one "i don't want a BINI!" was often my reply when asked. Now i have bought one. Why? Because after moving through several other cars in the last few years i tried a JCW yesterday and it blew me away. The supercharger noise, the pace, the handling it all felt right. Yes it's not an original Mini but it came as close as i think you can to the original in a modern car and i couldn't loose the smile factor so i know i had made the right choice in buying my new MINI JCW.
Will it hurt me as much as my old Mini and swallow lots of my cash? Probably (although i hope not) but i don't actually care because you can't put a price on a smile. Plus i've tried a Starlet Turbo, Clio 182, Alfa GT, Audi S3, BMW 130i and MK5 Golf GTi and lost money on all of them so for me it's money saver in the long run hehe.