here ill give you a legit answer, just for the record, i own an 03
Lots of people say that 03 is the best year because its the latest year with the 9k redline, i personally would feel sad only shifting to 8k, and i like the cluster of the AP1 over the AP2, having the rpm band go across the entire cluster is way cooler than the little thing that have on the ap2s
however ap2, with the 2.2L engine makes more torque, and makes more power, plus has shorter gearing 1-4, so it (should) pull harder than an ap1, stock for stock, even with the ap1 having a higher redline.
*just to clarify, im not saying ap2 will beat an ap1 in a race, i 100% believe theres not enough difference speed wise to NOT make it a drivers race, it is definitely a drivers race*
ive also seen people argue that 05 is the best year because its an ap2, and the last year before DBW and the VSC feature was introduced, and theres alot of people that are not fans of the DBW feature and saw VSC takes away the 'rawness' of the s2k
Next Argument i have heard is that the latest year is the best (06+), because its the newest and throughout the years has the most fixes, least problems and makes the most power. BUT the biggest reason is bc 06+ has a reprogrammable ECU, and can get the Hondata Reflash, which if you look up, can be VERY helpful, especially with the right header.
Finally, very few.. yet some say the CR is the best because its lighter weight and more track oriented which is what the s2k was designed for in the first place, plus it comes with a sweet shift beeper..
however most people despise the front lip and the rear wing... personally i think it looks awesome
Arguments for certain year being "best" year
03 - last year for the "ap1" with 9k redline, more "raw" driving experience
05 - last year for AP2 WITHOUT the DBW feature
06+ - newer the better, and has Hondata Reflash capabilities, and arguably makes most power on dynos
CR - More track oriented, and shift beeper, how the s2k is supposed to be
As for me, i say 06+ is the best year, best looks and i love the Reflash idea with the Toda header
BUT ideally, i would love to have an 06+ with an F20C
all the improvements of an AP2, with the 9k redline