I love racing sims. I have played pretty much every single serious and less serious car simulation out there. LFS, LFS 2, GTR, Forza 2, Grid, the Need for Speed series, the Test Drive series... Some of them are better than others (I you don't know what LFS is, you don't know what a serious car sim is). I just picked up a copy of Shift last night, and I'm impressed. It's sim enough to give you the freedom to do pretty much anything stupid with your car, but it's also arcade-y enough to let you have fun without too much frustration if you're using a pad. The dash view is the best ever made, period.
Graphics are acceptably watchable. If you blur your eyes.
Dash view will blow your socks off (I play bare foot).