Audi RS5, would you consider it?
I am planning on ordering an M3 coupe with pick-up at BMW's Performance Center next spring. However the now available (to the US market) Audi RS5 is a compelling alternative. Potential drawbacks, aside from brand preference, would be DSG (i.e. DCT) only and AWD. Otherwise both use a N.A. engine developing similar power. Assuming equal equipment both are priced the same.
The RS5 has been available overseas for a few years. Perhaps some forum members have been able to drive this car and can comment the pros and cons vs. the M3.
I have owned several BMW's with my last one being a 335i vert. The M3 is on my short list of vehicles to own but it doesn't hurt me to consider other vehicles before committing $70k or so dollars on a purchase.