BA kills the AU in terms of power, and the SSS shift on the autos is great!
BUT, you will get an 2000 model AU2 for less than half the price of a new BA. The government auctions are the way to go. My olds bought a Forte late last year (had 47000kms). It came with Cruise, auto, power front windows etc (everything but ABS). They then put a brand new Ford spoiler and aftermarket rims on it for less than the price it would have cost for a Futura (although the Futura does get ABS). They paid $15600 plus rego and stamp duty (all up around $16700 on the road). These cars sell at the local dealers for over $20k. Check out www.pickles.com.au
for Auction times and places (and current stock).
At the same auction, Futuras were going for $18200, and XR6 HPs for around $24000.
As taximan said, these cars of the bargain buy of the decade.