My younger brother has a 2008 and I have a 2012. They are both manual and they do feel and ride the same. The differences are in the details - and if this is important to you then I say go for it
By the time the lease is up (3 yrs) it'll be perfect timing for the new M3 :-)
I like my 2012 because of:
- Navigation perks are awesome - Google Mapping integration, bluetooth, etc....
- 6Spd Manual ROCKS :-) Totally different feel from a DCT
- I picked everything myself and love my Competition Package :-)
oh and about your financing questions: Hit up Ryan Amico at Steve Thomas. Best pricing and FANTASTIC service! He has shipped all over the country to very happy and satisfied buyers
Heres my baby: