We had a company '97 Camry 4-banger. Decent car but way too floaty and had mad nosedive (although the worn out suspension is at least partly to blame fot that)... I never liked it, but I cannot say it's a bad car. Like you said in your review of the new model, this one also completely disconnected you from the road.
My grandfather has a Milennia. It's a really nice car, pound for pound. It's much more of an old man car than the 6 is. It feels heavier, but it can get up and go if it needs to. Handling is much better than most large sedans.
My mom owns a 2000 Nissan Maxima SE. It's a very nice car. Its 222-hp pales in comparison to the 255hp in the '03 and 265hp in the '04, but it's got plenty of giddy-up when you need it. The engine and transmission gets smoother and smoother as the days go by. The inside is extremely quiet, with the engine barely audible until you rip past 4000 RPMs and it starts growling. Wind noise is audible when you're going fast, but not enough to bother you. It has never received any unscheduled maintenance either, requiring only the scheduled check ups and oil changes.
There are a few things I don't like about my mom's Maxima. First, you are never able to find a comfortable driving position. You can find one that's acceptable, but it's never truly comfortable. Second, the steering wheel is much too large (which contributes to the uncomfortable driving position). It feels like it should be in a bus or MACK truck. Third, the brakes have waaaaaaay too much of a mushy, disconnected feel. They're entirely too sensitive and cause the car to shutter when you use them at speeds of 65MPH or higher (such as on the parkway). And finally, the car feels too big and heavy.
Overall, it's a great car with a fantastic engine. Plenty of bang for your buck with high reliability.
I had a 1997 Camry. Every once and awhile (twice in 30 years actually) I let my wife pick the "family car".
Probably the most generic car I ever owned. Almost nothing bad but nothing noteworthy either.
The only thing I really disliked was the rear suspension. If pushed in a corner the rear felt like it was doing strange things. It was like it never took a set and just wagged around a little. Just not a car I felt comfortable in.
Oh, after 3 years my wife wanted to get rid of it too.
We had an 94 626 which IIRC was the first year of the "New" style. Very enjoyable family car. (4cyl MT)
In 2000 we were down to a Millenia or a Sable LS. Both were nice cars and we chose the Sable. I know the Taurus/Sable get a bad rap but it was actually a very good comfortable car. Nothing I would autocross but that isn't why I bought it.
Probably the main reason we picked the Sable over the Milenia was the power of the Duratec V6.