Maybe I'm doing it wrong...
I knock the big junk loose, spray it [K&N] down with the cleaner stuff, wait about 5 minutes, and then swish it vigorously in a bucket of laundry soap and water for about another 5 minutes until it's perfectly white. Then I run water from the inside out with a hose in good weather, or the tub faucet (usually). When it seems rinsed in about another 5 minutes, I shake it a little, to keep it from dripping on the floor, and take it outside, and spin it as I throw it into the air, so it spins fast for about 3-4 seconds before I catch it again. It takes about another 5 minutes before it's pretty dry. The I leave it until I anticipate needing to drive again, and then oil it, and drive right away to pull the oil through. A leaf blower on the clamped side would dry it pretty fast. You could blow dry it, too.
There have been times (like when I cleaned it in gas station bathrooms) that I wasn't able to dry it very well, and I either drove a few miles before oiling it, or just oiled it wet, and checked it after a few miles.
It's not economical to buy two. Most of them start at $40 and go up from there.
Being that it's a "lifetime filter" I really don't see a downside. The SL1 has 99k miles, I plan to put at least 60-70k on it before I sell it, which at my rate, will be about 8 years.
This all has me thinking. I could basically make the SL1 a "maintenance free" vehicle. Amsoil lube everywhere, K&N air filter, go ahead and put new brake pads on it, it has new tires and the struts are newer... If I did all that, I shouldn't have to worry much about the car for a looooooong time. Heck, even if I just put full synthetic oil in it and planned to change the oil every 8-10k miles that is a 1 year oil change interval.
Looks like I'm headed to saturnfans.com to ask a few questions.