Well, forget the brand new Clio RS as it ONLY comes with a flappy paddle gearbox and I am already reading reviews stating how it ruins the cars experience, most are stating it's no where near as good as the older Clio RS.
The 208 GTI is interesting, better equipped then the Fiesta but I don't like the red painting on the door arm rests etc, haven't read a conclusive review of it yet either, only drives of a test bed car and not a production model.
Gold GTI, the new one is nice but isn't it expensive? I would look at the new Leon Cupra once it's out as it's a Golf in disguise.
The Audi A1, WWAAAAYYYYY overpriced, much rather a Mini for a premium small hatch, have you thought of Mini Cooper S?
BMW 1 series, hmm, depends on specs I guess, same as the Z4, you need a 2 litre also really to enjoy it? Nice well built but I always remember looking at the 2009 1 series before I went to look at the Fiesta as they had a deal on the 1.6 sport, I thought it was well made, nice driving position, but the rear legroom and boot were an utter joke compared to the Fiesta and that was a 5 door 22 grand 1 series!, and I thought a grand for aircon was a bit much haha. But the new one I believe has better leg room now? Will give good residuals though.
I think the new A class Merc is really nice, something new fresh and different, I don't like the way the multimedia screen looks like it's been attached as an afterthought to the dash, not as integrated as BMW's, but it looks nice otherwise, you can also get an awesome bodykit on it!
And what about the new Audi A3? Not sure on pricing though?
Ford, well I would tell you a Fiesta ST2 every single day, great value, great to drive, every single review I've seen LOVES it, cheap to run, practical, Ford Sync could be good after a couple of updates.
I like the Focus ST too, I find it too big though but it will give you more power and toys. Don't know if it handles as well as the Fiesta ST?
Anyway I would think:
Merc A class
Seat Leon Cupra
208GTI if it's a good drive and you can live with it's crazy dashboard design.
And in regards to the Focus RS, unless you get it second hand it's not worth it I don't think as Ford have announced the new one, but I don't think it's gonna be cheap!
Heres the Clio RS for those interested: