I've no experience of the Focus but have of some of the other contenders.
Clio 172/182s can be had for under a grand. They are great fun but WILL break. They can also be challenging to work on.
Civic Type Rs go like fuck but most have been barried. You'd also need to spend nigh on £2k to buy one that's not a wreck, unless you ask me very nicely
A Corolla or Celica T-Sport is a leftfield choice. The Corolla is pretty bland but the Celica is a nice wee car.They both come with a 1.8 190 bhp engine that won't stop reving til you're over 8000rpm. Best of all you can sell it to me once you're done so I can stick the engine into the MR2
If I recall the 190 engine almost never made the power Toyota claimed. 170 was more likely. Not too bad but not a proper replacement for the GT4. I would like T-Sport Celica, but they're getting old now.