Thinking it was back in '92 when a good friend of mine'* mother picked up a driftwood '92 SE. I wasn't of driving age at the time, but I decided that I wanted one!
Bought my first one used in July '02. It was a '95 SE with SSE badges
(hence my user name... I was a n00b to the specifics of these cars, members set me straight right away).
Loved the car, loved the concept, BUT.. the poor thing had pretty much already run its course unfortunately.
Took my first real job in January of '04. Early in '05 the car started to act up quite a bit so I decided it was time for it to go
Went to test drive some '04s. Discovered that the pricing was pretty economical for 1-year old cars. Didn't seem as roomy as the previous generation, but decided I could live with that. Drove 3 cars, took the 3rd one home.
I was driving it yesterday and though "Man! This car has 60K miles on it, and it'* been pretty sound!" One issue with the instrument cluster, but eBay is my friend.