I have driven the orphan at the dealership and it's a nice car. I have until the end of the day Friday to make a decision to purchase the car or wait until February for the one I configured. The 2008 has more options on it than the 2009, but I may still turn it down in favor of the 2009.
Aside from the obvious of "Now or Later" dilema, I am also battling with a decision of how to buy it. I already have a 2008 Prius that I am currently paying for. I don't want to make two car payments (not in the current economy). I have considered trading in the Prius since its payoff is so low that the worth of the car would pay for the smart and nearly all if not all of the remainder of the loan (Type 5 Prius II). This would in affect pay completely for the smart. The aspect of no payments and a slightly lower insurance payment is very appealing.
Looking at the pros and cons of trading-in the Prius
No Payments, Slightly Lower Insurance, Cheaper Licensing (they charge more to license hybrids in MO), smart is a convertible(Prius cannot even have a sunroof), no worries about batteries after the 80,000 mile warranty is over, smart is nimble and very responsive
Value Retention in US not known for the smart but Prius is a proven performer, Durability in US not known for the smart 451 (Prius has a very strong history), smart has less luxury (even though it is loaded), very short warranty for the smart, lower gas mileage, Prius has a smoother and much quieter ride