I also have an 2001 SP3, and I wouldn't chop it in for anything. Fuel consumption isn't exactly great, but you don't need a radio when you put your foot down. Whenever I am doing big distances, someone (work) is paying mileage, so that covers its drinking habit.
I would not be that fussy if I was in the market for a new one. I'd be looking for a non-rusty body and a good engine. A car of this age is going to need new suspension rubber anyway, so knocks and clunks don't matter. If you are doing it yourself, you can completely rebuild the suspension for about £300. Grubby interiors can be swapped out for not a lot. If you have a boot with a spolier, and want to get rid of the spoiler, remember that any boot will fit - probably cheaper than filling the holes in.
If I had a barn, I would get a £600 clunker and stash it as future project.