You and I, as car enthusiasts, would happily buy the car marketed with the strong gearbox and rugged racer's edge sans radio... The general public, however, would criticise the interior and crappy options (which rattles and squeeks bad enough as it is). These days, 27 grand will buy 1 of many available damned fast models from other makers, but you have to think about how the average power level of cars has come up in the past 6 years to meet people's need to match the jones's more powerful car... in late 2001, a fairly light AWD car with a 227hp turbo power plant was a force to be reckoned with.
It only took them 6+ years to figure out that they should put the non-RA STi/LGT gearset in the USDM WRX... It's not by any means a world of difference in stregnth, but I've been scratching my head for a couple of years wondering why they insisted on using a weaker gearset with terribly matched ratios when the USDM LGT transmission was already sitting in the parts bin for more than a decade.