I just picked up one of these not long ago. It did the exact same thing. Does it rev up and down at idle when warm too? Check the cooling system - these things are SUPER sensitive to air in there. Turned out to be my radiator cap and overflow tank (at the same time). The cap went bad so as the cooling system built any pressure, it would bleed into the coolant overflow tank. The overflow tank had a hole in it, so when the engine would cool down and try to draw the coolant back into the system, it sucked in air. Threw in a new radiator cap and overflow tank, bled the system, and it runs like a champ. Maybe check the coolant temp sensor, too.
Hope this helps, Chris
2 Timothy 1:9-10 Ephesians 2:8-10 Psalm 91
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Have you checked the vacuum reading on the manifold? You could have a muffler or cat that's plugging up. I had this on an older Corolla. Ran perfectly at idle but as you tried to accelerate it would lose power. I tried everything and finally took it to the dealer and he told me that my muffler was plugged up. New muffler and the car ran like it should have. BTW this is something that got worse over time so at first was like you described but finally made the car undriveable.
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