To be honest if I'd paid £22.5k and then still had it now (16 years later) I'd say that would have been well worth the money, a little over a grand depreciation per year. However I guess in today's money with inflation etc. that's more like £30k anyway.
£27,150 was the on the road price of the S3 in 1999, plus whatever options you wanted. The price subsequently dropped to around £25,000 in 2001 when the manufacturers brought the prices in line across Europe. We bough ours new in 99 (however it was an import and came in at around 22k) and are still running around in it now.