If you're smart, you'll stay away from the pre-'99 3.8 V6 Ford engines. Between '83 and '98 they had a problem with blowing head gaskets left and right. In '97 or '98, I think, Ford was involved in a lawsuit or something concerning that issue. The judgement was that they had to replace the head gaskets and resolve the problem with anybody that had a 3.8 V6 powered Ford with under 100,000 miles on it (between the stated years, of course). Of course, most of the vehicles in those years had over 100,000 miles on them at the time of the judgement. Either that, or people didn't know about it until their car was over the 100,000 mile limit. So for the most part, it hasn't been done to most cars that were included.
Right now, I have an '87 T-Bird with the 3.8. Not a bad engine, but DEFINITELY not a performance engine. I'm afraid it'* going to break. LOL The only reason I have it is because my father bought it for me for a gift when I only had one car (my wife needed something to drive). Anyway, just thought I'd throw this up there for you.
If you decide to get one with the 3.8 anyway, try to buy one that has documentation that the head gaskets were done recently. That may prevent problems in the near future and should last you awhile. Sorry for the long post.