E46 M3's are nice, but for the money, they are not the end all of sports cars that some people would have you believe.
What other car similar price range ($44-60k), has a usable trunk, rear seats, the handling, ergonomics, acceleration, and a quality/luxurious interior???
not to mention a low displacement high reving engine....Forced induction sux and if its not Rear wheel drive its WRONG wheel drive
Really don't want to argue about this here, thread might get locked. But here's what I think, and just what I think. With dealer markups, the M3 is pretty much a 60k car. Correct?
First of all your statement regarding a high revving small displacement engine means nothing. Yes it does-- so what? What is more important is power to weight ratio. If you wanted a small displacement high revving engine you could always get a Honda. A 2.0 liter 240 hp engine is found in their s2000, the f20c engine. That thing has an even better hp/liter ratio than the m3.
So, you might be wondering what I would get instead? I agree with you BMW's interiors are very nice, and they are very nice cars. I just wouldn't pay 60k for one. At this point in my life, I'd value a fast, great handling car, over one with a nice luxurious interior. Anyway, I would probably pick up a corvette with the new ls2 engine from chevy. Let's see 400 hp, equal torque, rear wheel drive. Will beat the m3 in every measureable performance category. Just because the engine uses pushrods, doesn't mean anything. It is a great car, and a true performance value. I believe it's lighter than the bimmer as well. Hell, I could even purchase a used c5 z06 and save money and the performance differential would be even greater. And let's not even start about the Mistubishi evo/ subaru sti.
All I'm saying is that for a pure sports car, there are better. As a pimped out cruiser, it's certainly one of the best. As you can attest, people seem to give e46 m3's and their owners a lot of attention.
Oh, and before you say the chevy is a gas guzzling, unreliable domestic turd, know that people have gotten over 30 mpg on the freeway due to the long gearing, and that the BMW m3's s54 engine has had a LOT of problems. The early ones have been exploding like crazy, and guess how much it costs to replace that thing if it is out of warranty? 20k I think, off the top of my head.