Originally Posted by SupremePower3335
Thx everyone for your opinions and insight..it has definitely given me more to think about..
I test drove an M3 in 2008 when they first arrived, and I drove a 335xi to that test drive. At the time I owned an E39 M5.
So first impression of the M3 on my way to some back roads was that it was rather sluggish.. free revving, but felt like it lacked the oomph down low of the 2 aforementioned cars.
Got myself out of the city, built the revs up, and fell in love.
So unless you ran the M3 from 5k(ish) all the way up to redline, and felt it through some twisties, then there's no way you experienced what the car is about. You can't make an informed decision until this occurs.
The 335xi I previously mentioned now has over 80k miles. It's a tank. I've driven it probably 15-20k of those miles. It's an enjoyable car, but no comparison to the M3.
It all depends on what you want -- if you want zippy around town, a la 335, then the M3 isn't your car.
If you live for the weekend back road jaunt or track day, and you enjoy working an engine to access the performance, then you've got to give the M3 further consideration.
Steering weight in the 335 is indeed much heavier than the M3 in the lightest settings. Sport plus (M Mode setting) is probably about equal weight to the 335, but feels so much better. Far more communicative.
I purchased my M3 last fall, and I went with an '08. $20k+ less expensive than a Competition Package.
I have no experience with 911's, so can't speak on those. Good luck with the decision..