Ok, as said, I'm here to set the record straight once and for all. THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH THE HANDLING IN THIS GAME! As a racer, it excels in speed and thrills and does provide the racing experience it sets out to do, especially when you get to race the high end machines. It can be very intense at times.
Out of all the racing games I've played, and lets see - the Gran Turismos, the previous NFS, PGR 3 and 4, GRID, Midnight Club Racing, Burnout series, PURE, FUEL, Forza 2 - Shift has been the most fun and satisfying. This is the only game where I've been able to play in cockpit view as first choice - it really works well. It's not as great as they make it out to be, but it's definately the best iteration of this viewpoint.
The career mode has a nice variety of races and game types to dip in and out of and I like the reward system. Gamers like to be rewarded for their efforts. On-line is seamless; I've been able to jump into a lobby very quickly, without any hitches.
The only downside to on-line races is when you get rammed from behind and spin out. In single player you can just hit re-start but you can't very well do that on-line, so it costs you the race. Never mind.
Shift is closest to Grid in terms of racing thrills 'n' spills but I think Shift does have the edge - Shift somehow manages to nail the experience of modern racing.
I love the handling in this game, it seems perfect. I'm either:
(a) a gaming God but doubt it, despite playing games since I was 10 years old handheld, console, pc you name it
(b) some of you have the settings higher than you can truely manage, e.g. Pro settings, no assists
(c) you're just not good at racing games.