Ford is in competition with Honda as to which way I might jump. The Element is a neat vehicle that would suit my needs. I could see myself driving that.
I was not all that impressed with Nissan, but would give a second look to an Xterra. I had always thought the Murano was a sexy vehicle, but at $40K I nearly gagged.
Toyota was a huge disappointment. I hopped into a 4Runner and hit my head. I have never seen an SUV with such shitty headroom! Their FJ Cruiser was not all that bad. It might be worth a 2nd look although the gas mileage was pretty shitty.
So that's where I stand right now. I'll continue to do my research and weigh the pros and cons. It seems that all of the SUV's are pretty much the same. I'm not willing to pay $40K for something that has gas mileage below 20MPG. The choices out there are certainly dizzying!