The accord is nice, it will do what it needs to do without too much fuss.. I would personally avoid anything Audi, and many VW except for a few.
One thing not listed is either the Nissan Juke or Nissan Rogue. Those are both really nice, and will do what you want. Also the new Altima is supposed to be pretty nice too, but I haven't sat in one yet.
I also second the notion of the Elantra. My girlfriend has an accord, and I think the elantra offers more for the same money, or the same for less money (however you want to look at it).
One other thing I'd look at is the Buick Regal. Really nice looking car, and while they're on the higher end of the price they can still be had for under 30k. Also the Verano looks similar for a little less money, but again I haven't sat in one.
1994 Infiniti Q45- First 5-speed swapped Q45.
2007 BMW M Coupe