Got my base 2010 Mazdaspeed 3 in silver a month ago from Elk Grove Mazda in California - paid invoice + 500 which I thought was a good deal. Other quotes over the phone and by email from other dealers varied from MSRP down to invoice plus 500. Buying experience at Elk Grove Mazda by the way was excellent and would recommend them to anyone... very low pressure (unlike other dealers I've been to in the past)
I had the Audi A3, VW GTI and MS3 on my shortlist before I bought the MS3 - there really was no comparison between the A3/GTI and the MS3 - the MS3 is way more car and performance for the money and really takes performance to the next level. The VW/Audi dealer wanted me to go back to them after I drove the MS3 so they could make a final offer, but in all honesty there was nothing they could of offered to make me buy the A3 or GTI in comparison to the MS3, unless they were prepared to make an extremely stupidly low offer, which I know they weren't judging by the insultingly low offer they gave for my trade in.
Absolutely loving my MS3. Must remember to breathe when accelerating