I've mostly owned Toyotas before but their mileage isn't as good as the Civic and it's harder to find ones with manual transmissions. (I'm willing to consider automatics but would prefer a manual, and there seem to plenty on the market, so why compromise?) Fords and GMs are right out.
The intrawebs tells me that in addition to the usual used-car checklist, I should make sure to check the front shock absorbers for leaks and the timing belt for wear since those are two known problems with Civics.
Anyone have anything particularly good or bad to say about Civics? Do you think I should be considering other kinds of cars? Any other thoughts?