We currently own a 2000 Forester which again has failed head gaskets at about 175K (the first time was due to the well known head gasket issue at about 107K, but this time the cause is likely for a different reason (don't want to go into the details). There are several approaches we can take:
1) Another head gasket job if the overheating didn't damage the engine (we will no more after the heads have been removed and the engine inspected ... please assume there is no major damage);
2) Buy a short block from Subaru and have it installed;
3) Sell the car as is and replace it with another Subaru (not certain what model or year)
4) Replace the car with another make
Even with the problems we have had (this car has had it share of issues), we like Subarus in general and would consider purchasing another one (this is the second we have owned). Part of the reason we would consider fixing this one or purchasing another is our mechanic. He is an independent Subaru mechanic who does excellent work at very reasonable rates (some of his customers drive considerable distances just so he can maintain their cars).
I've been short on details, but are there any opinions regarding the best approach? Is there a particular Subaru model/year you could recommend that would cost less than about 7K (our Forester is the least used car in our family, probably about 6,000 miles/year)? I'm still concerned about the head gasket problem, but I understand Subaru's latest gasket design has proved superior to the predecessors (but time will tell). I've also heard Subaru's six cylinder engine is much more reliable than their four cylinder (we have the 2.5L engine).