On April Fools' Day 2003, I drove a shiny new blue 2003 Toyota Prius off the lot in Novato, California. I did note the irony of the 'holiday,' and hoped I would not be proven a fool for purchasing what was then fairly new technology, at least in the U.S. market. Five years later, I have not regretted the choice. Despite my more than 20 years as a technology journalist (17 years writing about the high tech/Internet industry, 5 1/2 years covering clean tech), I have never been much of an 'early adopter' of new technology. I still don't have a PDA, for example, and have not yet yielded to the temptation of the iPhone. So it was a bit of a leap of faith to embrace a hybrid five years ago, when many advised me to wait until the carmakers had 'worked out the bugs'