Sounds like you had pretty good luck with that Taurus. My friends got a 2000 a couple months back for 7k. There are plenty of Tauri out there. They aren't my thing, but if you're comfortable with them they're a good car for the money they fetch. I'm partial to the Grand Prix. I have a '97 with 158,000 miles. I get 30+ on the highway and with the supercharger there is always power on tap. They are also very common and pretty cheap.
I can tell you where all the parts are coming from if you would like to know. I call upon these assembly plants and thier suppliers on a daily basis for my job.
I've driven both of them and prefer the Impala, but I have family members who drive the Taurus's and get nearly 200,000 miles out of them. A brother has a Ford Ranger pickup with the 3.0 litre engine and he has about 275,000 miles on it right now and it still doesn't burn any oil. I drive my Chevys to 170,000 miles and other then some brake issues without any major repairs.
Or you could get an Orange VW bug like the president of Wartburg drives. I assume from your handle you are a Wartburg alum
No one else has mentioned it, so how about a Subaru Outback? Our 2000 Outback wagon was built in Indiana, we have 88K miles on it with no problems and it's a great all weather vehicle. 23 to 25 mpg in town and 27 on the highway with all wheel drive.
My wife is a road warrior, 500-600 miles a week with her job. We drive the hell out of any car we have. I had a 96 accord with 275,000 on it and basically got rid of it out of boredom. I got a new Civic and it is about the same size as my old accord. Anyway, if you do a Honda it is important to know if the timing belt has been replaced at 90,000. If not it is kind of a pricy deal. I have owned five Honda's that all have went over 150000 miles without an issue with anything. Great cars and my Pilot was made in the US and the Civic in Canada.
Seriously though, a guy on here had an Impala for sale recently, a little over the price range you mentioned but maybe worth checking out if it's still available.
I dont mind foreign cars, but they are soon to be taking over the top sales slot from GM and it isnt doing our economy much good when everyone is buying jap. pickups and cars. also Chrysler is a couple weeks from being possibly shut down because they are bought out
Thanks for everyone's input!
Actually its the president's wife that drives the WARTBUG.
There seems to be some good deals on eBay.
Has anyone had any experience buying a car there?