Subaru Foresters are very popular here in Australia, for good reason. The Forester X (entry model) is good value with its 2.5 litre normally aspirated engine, and quite quick for an SUV. I have the 2004 model.
However, IMO, the Forester XT (used to be GT) is the one to go for outside Japan- provided you get it with the 2.5 litre turbo engine (2.0 litre in the UK), and manual gearbox. In the past, the automatic gear box has usually added about a second to the 0-100kph time for the XT and the base model Forester (Subaru Australia specs).
The new generation Foresters, from 2008, unfortunately are slightly bigger and heavier than their predecessors and the new XT manual suffers accordingly in the 0-100kph results. But it has improved ESC which, according to Consumer Reports, let down the older XT.
IMO, the Forester to look out for is the Forester XT STi, only ever sold in Japan. Never come across one here in Oz, even as a grey import. Again, provided it has the manual gear box (which one would expect with the STi model obviously), it should be even quicker off the mark than the standard XT.
NB check out Consumer Reports for the latest evaluation of the new Forester, including the XT (only available with the automatic gear box in North America).