Join Date: May 2006
Location: Gaithersburg, MD
Car Year: 2009
Car Model: Outback XT-B
I think fuel filters are just a paper substrate much like an oil filter, so it's not likely the filter broke down.
Either internal corrosion (unlikely, as long as the car didn't sit for years with no fuel in it), or sucking bad things through the fuel pump sock and eventually accumulating in the fuel filter.
Either way, replace the fuel filter.
You also might want to give blowing the lines out a shot. It's something I've always wanted to try (with brake lines and such), but never got around too. It shouldn't be too hard, and would probably blow anything out that's attached itself to the walls of the hardlines.
09 SWP Outback 2.5XT 5MT 263whp, 337 lb-ft