The other day I drove a 911. Yeah, I think that's the car. I won't do a full review, but basically it has the wonderful feel of like a 370 or Cayman without all the drawbacks - it's got great visibility, tons of glass all around, the cabin feels spacious and comfortable. At low speed it feels sort of bulky and much more clumsy than the Cayman (even though the weight difference is only 300 pounds or so), but at high speed it seems to shed weight and become nimble and agile. I think I want like an '06 4S or so. And there just aren't any.
So I started looking at shit like ebay motors. That's a terrifying scam risk. I found a car that looks great, good price. I call the guy up and ask if I can have it inspected. He says no, I have to agree to the bid on ebay and put down a $1000 non-refundable deposit before I have it inspected. WTFBBQ no way jose. Just for kicks I say okay, let's ignore that problem - assuming we work that out, I would want to pay through escrow.com ; he says no they don't take escrow. Okay then.
He says I should trust him because he has "positive ebay feedback". That's a huge LOL. For one thing he has inflated his rating by obviously buying lots of shit on ebay just to get more ratings; he has like 10 seller ratings and 100 buyer ratings. Yelp and eBay ratings are also now ruined by sellers & shops who police their feedback. If you ever write anything negative, they'll try to give you some freebee to get you to change it. If that fails they go to arbitration on the site and complain and get your account banned.
I don't understand; if I was buying a $100k house, I would have agents, inspections, escrow, blah blah blah, actually way too much dilligence. On the other hand buying a $50k car I'm supposed to just wire the cash sight unseen. I'm also at the point where I would just pay a car buyer agent to take care of this shit for me, and they don't seem to exist at all. I mean there's those useless services that will give you prices for new cars from dealers for you, but not someone who will hunt for the spec you want and go inspect it and all that, eg. like a realtor but for cars.
I mentioned before that I think the best way to get accurate credit ratings for financial instruments would be to make the rating agencies offer insurance on their products - then you can look at the price they set for the insurance and know what they really think the risk is. Similarly, dealers could give you accurate condition reports by pricing insurance ("warranties").
Anyway, it's really fucking frustrating. I'm tempted to buy something completely different that I don't really want just because it's available and I can get this fucking phase of my life over with. Or buy the fucking ebay car from the shady seller and just take the risk. I'm spending my time alternating between talking to car dealers (ugh) and scanning the car listing web sites which are all so god damn broken and painful to use. (I've ranted before about the big problems with these listing sites : the biggest single thing they need is "never show me this again", but it would also be useful to have inline notes, persistent item links, and proper option filtering).
Vice Do's and Don'ts stands out for being actually smart and having a sense of humor.
Dave Moulton has a good post on how Eugene routes traffic well for both cars and bikes. San Francisco does a decent job of setting up parallel streets where one is very car friendly and one is more bike friendly, but they don't do enough to discourage the cars from going through on the bike-priority street. It's a real fucking douchey move to drive on the bike priority street, but the converse is also true. It annoys the hell out of me when bikes use Lake Washington Blvd through the Arboretum here in Seattle. It's a narrow street that's an artery for cars and has no bike lane, and there's a very good bike-priority route that runs parallel to it right over at 26th. Get off the fucking car-priority artery you damn bikes! If you're a driver on a car-priority street, do not go slow and hover behind a biker - pass him, close if need be. And fucking hell go ahead and pull out into oncoming traffic a little bit when you pass, the lane divider line is not some inviolable barrier; learn from the asians!