It looks like the S.O. and I might be starting the "new" vehicle search a tad earlier than we had planned. The current vehicle has begun displaying little quirks that make us nervous. We got stuck in stop-and-go traffic on I-85 southwest of Atlanta yesterday, and the transmission began doing things it should not do. No problems getting home, just the minor inconvenience of stopping for lunch a little earlier than planned and letting things cool down, but nonetheless a worrying sign we may soon be confronted with a major expense. I'm not at all happy with the idea of having to invest in transmission repairs on a pick-up that's 14 years old and starting to rust around the edges, but I'm also not happy with the prospect of spending a lot more money on a totally different vehicle.
On the other hand. . . this could be the ideal time to car shop. Lots of inventory on the lots, dealers willing to deal, and no major pressure to grab the first thing we spot that both matches the budget and our needs. So now I guess the S.O. and I need to have a serious chat about just what it is we want to buy -- he's leaning toward a 3/4 ton diesel pickup and I'm thinking PT Cruisers look kind of cool. Obviously, at this point we're not exactly on the same page.