Hello there Matt. I'm new here but I still think that a civic is a good way to go. Since they're still hot now, the prices would be about $5000-$6000. With the rest of your money, you could get new coilovers, exhaust, rims, bodykit, and a good turbo. You probably know all of this but you could just get a beater car for now and save up for a better car, like a WRX (about $25,000). If you like turbo and AWD you should definitly take this car into consideration.
It's your money, your car, your choice.
BTW: If you want to put mods on your car, plz DON'T get altezzas!!!