well the 9-3 is a completely diferent animal to the 9-5, and suffered far more GM cost cutting and standard parts in the hunt for the fleet sales. the 9-3 got standard GM engines while the 9-5 retained the SAAB developed H Series engines (a follow on of the B series of the pre GM era)
As for Woody - go check out the Aero, less wafting than an SE model as the suspension is firmer & lower - if like mine the lower profile tyres on the 17" alloys also contribute to the harser ride, but does make it better on the twistys - its not a sports car in anyway, its far too long in the wheelbase & heavy for that. 140k still no probs.
Always best to compare cars rather than buy the first you see.
In terms of remap i think its been suggested that the basic 2.0 lpt is the best bet for power gains as in standard 150bhp its hardly stressed and a simple stage 1 remap of the ECU can see healthy gains in power (50-70bhp improvement), with some on Saabscene and UKsaab saying they actually saw improvements in MPG as they didnt have to work the engine quite to hard, with a better torque spread.
While spending a several grand in replacing the ECU, injectors, air filter, parts of the intake system, Aero spec turbo, larger exhaust can get the 2.0 up to around 300bhp and beyond
where as it takes alot of money to get the power increases on the aero
Going off Abbott Racing (as a bench mark turning guide)
stage 1 upgrade is £400.
2.0t 150bhp > 220bhp
2.3t 185/220 > 230bhp
2.3HOT Aero 230/250 > 265bhp
2.0t Stage 4 - 285bhp (£2200)
2.3t Stage 4 - 285bhp (£2200)
2.3HOT Stage 4 - 300bhp (£3300)
2.3HOT Stage 5 - 320bhp (£4500)
As for torque steer - not something i really notice. i remember feeling it when i first got a saab 9-5 8 years ago but i got used to it. Equally the steering gives great feedback over what the front wheels are doing, this feedback would be removed if they had adjusted the steering to eliminiate the torque steer.