i'd recommend buying a 2008 prius. what kind of car do you drive now? what has been your personal experience with it versus the reviews that are on the internet? people that have issues with things would be more likely to tell other people about it (such as postings you see here) than people that are satisfied with their product. think about it, if the 2001 prius' were that much of a problem to a majority of the population, i'm certain toyota wouldn't still be making them now. they are constantly improving on each model they come out with year after year.

i own a 2003 corolla, i absolutely love my car but it does not have anti-lock brakes and that's the one thing that bothers me because i didn't know that until i was actually in an accident. but now, it comes standard in every single toyota along with tire pressure control. trust your personal judgement first, there's the lemon law and the extended hybrid warranty, if you run into issues.

lastly, consider leasing the vehicle instead of financing it, you'd pay about $100 less on a monthly basis and you're not stuck with the vehicle if you change your mind. technology is advancing and in 3 years, the hybrids will be at another level. toyota is looking to offer a hybrid option to most of their models in the near future.

p.s. if you are in georgia or looking to buy in georgia, let me know. i work for a toyota dealer.