Guys we did it!
Thank you again for all the help and insight. The experience was a first and a definite eye opener to the 'real world'.
I contacted 4 dealers in the Katy/Houston area and they all had similar pricing and very little wiggle room. That said, I was able to get the car for 17.8k plus tax/title/etc. for a 19.3 OTD price. We could have had it for a little under 19k, but the parents insisted on getting Gap and premium warranty in their attempt to ensure I don't get stuck in the middle of no-where texas or decide I'd be covered if wanted to go through all this trouble to purposely break the car.
After the dust settled and debt assigned to my name, the first drive home definitely everything I dreamed of. With no car to use throughout my highschool/college years (Austin, TX please take me back) I've been waiting to have my 'first actual car' that I own (and pay for) and I could not be happier.
She came in Oxford White with Black Charcoal interior. I also went with manual transmission because it is the proper thing to do. I've never driven stick, but have been learning the ropes and definitely have had a few laughs stalling/jerking around in frustration.
Drop the gap (you should still have time to do so) and pick it up through your regular insurance. I pay very little for gap every 6 months.
2014 Sterling gray GT 6M
Paxton Novi 2200 with torque booser and Lund tune, DW1000 injectors, JMS BAP, ATI damper
Lethal ORP, MGW shifter, BMR upper and lowers, Spicer 1 piece DS, Ram Single disk clutch with aluminum flywheel, Power leather seat conversion. Staggered wheels.