I'm fairly certain that I'll continue my search for an m3, but after driving one yesterday I'm somewhat tempted to order a 330 coupe with the sports package and nothing else. Total price working with a good salesman I met is $35,000, or $33,000 for European delivery.
I already know that the 330 doesn't have quite the same suspension, and doesn't pull as hard to redline. I've not seen the graphs, but I'm assuming after driving it that not only does the 330 have 15 fewer hp but that the hp and torque curves are flatter on the 330.
But still, I think $35K for a brand new 225 HP e46 coupe is a good value for the money. And I like the looks of the e46 quite a bit. I'm also assuming that a few slight mods might bring out a little more of the beast in that inline 3.0 liter 6.
What do people think? Am I wasting my time thinking about anything but an M, or is the 330 a contender?