The xB is a good compromise between several areas. It has a HUGE amount of space for its size, excellent performance (power, handling, and braking) for its class and price range, a wonderful support and owners-bonding culture, excellent value of features for its price, and "unique" looks.
Cons: Unique looks (may not always be a good thing), good MPG but not spectacular by modern standards (most owners get mid-to-high-20s in actual mixed use driving). So, if you want a hyper-mile vehicle and not performance, the first gen may be a better buy for you. If you want to hypermile, for that matter, there are vehicles out there that are MUCH better for you than these . . .
As for regular posters on THIS forum . . .
We tend to LOVE our 08-on xBs (nicknamed "xB2") and many are a bit fanatical about them . . .
I agree with TartanJack on his comparison b/w the XB and others. I too bought my wife's XB for the same reasons. For the price, you get acceptable mpg (imo), good power, braking, handling and options. I was considering buying a Corolla at first, but once I started looking at the XB2s I was hooked.
One warning though!! Adding extra goodies (i.e. lowering, custom wheels/tires, etc) is addicting...but fun. Good luck. :x