Well, it looks like my stepdad will be taking his bike out of storage this weekend and go for a ride. (Weather permitting, of course.)
He bought his first motorcycle last fall - a Kawasaki Vulcan 1600 Mean Streak, like this one:
This is how I foresee his ride turning out:
Neither is a BMW...
I really think your best choice would be either a Miata or a Mustang. But you don't care for Mustangs so that leaves you with a Miata. An MR2/MR2-Spyder is worth keeping an eye out for, but keep in mind the small trunk of a mid-engined car; it may not be as practical as a...
There's really only one choice that ticks all the boxes.
Like this one, which looks great and has the stuff you want but may be more money than you want to spend. (Also doesn't have a hardtop, which may be a deal-breaker.)
As far as a 2ZZ engine in a Corolla GTS, I don't know. The 2ZZ engine...
I had a FlowDronemaster Delta Flow 50 on my Cadillac and I hated it. Way too loud, and the drone at highway speeds was very annoying.
I had Magnapacks on my S197, and I never had a problem with drone. They weren't that loud, either; especially once I had a muffler shop relocate them from...
Also, one advantage of a cam-in-blockOHV engine is its external dimensions. For example, here is a Ford 302 Windsor engine:
And the 302 cubic inch 32V DOHC Ford Coyote engine:
The Coyote looks to me like it would be a very tight fit in an AC Ace.