This car was actually the first Lincoln in several decades to offer manual transmission. It could be purchased with a V6 or V8 engine, and it featured nearly even weight distribution.
There was a wide range of prices for this car. The base model LS with a V6 engine sold for $30,000, which is still overpriced in my mind when you consider what that money would buy from a company like Lexus or Acura. The Special Edition V8 LSE sold for about $45,000 when fully equipped.
The first generation LS was based heavily on technology from Jaguar. The V8 engine was a variation of the engine from the S-Type, and critics loved it. Motor Trend awarded the LS its car of the year award for 2000. It was a fast car that also featured luxury options, making it very popular with car enthusiasts. The special edition LSE was launched in 2002 for just this market.
With the discontinuation of the Continental in 2003, the LS was upgraded to fill in this gap in the market. The engine was given a power boost to appease increasing demand for an even sportier LS.
Safety is another feature that made the LS stand out. It received a perfect score or near perfect in a variety of tests, a rare if not unprecedented accomplishment. CNBC called the LS one of the five safest cars of all time.
This car was discontinued to make room for the Zephyr / MKZ in 2006.
If you can find one of these cars used, I suggest you consider it. It has performance, luxury, and safety. The only thing it might be lacking is looks, and that's really more of a personal preference. Look at eBay listings for some good deals.