It's my personal belief that everyone who wants an M3, *really* wants an M1. I'm sorry, but at 3500lbs with a V8, the new M3 is a pig these days. Not to mention the extreme price factor. We can thank the competition and general demand for the fact that the 3 series has just gotten huger and fatter and more expensive over the years. I'm just glad BMW is bringing some purity back to its name with its (hopefully) close to 3000lb 1 series.
edit: 500th post, yippe!