you should expect to pay around 15k in that general area. there have been some pretty good deals lately in the Private For Sale section of i-club but i think you mighta missed out. i got a MY01 rs and i dont think the manual tranny is that bad.. in fact its not bad at all. other awd cars you might consider are
Audi S4 - nice but dont think you can afford that
Mitsu GSX - awd with turbo, doesnt look like a snow capable car but hey, its awd.
Eagle Talon Tsi- basically a GSX but earliar model under different name
Pontiac Vibe - you saw the commerical..
old school Toyota something - supposedly has big capabilities of handling large amounts of HP but youre not into that so i dunno.