Thanks to everyone for their additional thoughts. Here are some answers to some questions - I will absolutely follow up AFTER the break-in period to make sure that I'm give a fair comparison.
- I had a stock suspension so I can't give you a comparison with coilovers - sorry.
- Here's some good market data for everyone: I actually used to work at Toyota HQ and GM HQ so I have access to the national Manheim auction sales. My car was worth about $24k based on recent West auction sales. CarMax offered me $22k and I got $24k from my BMW dealer so I sold it the dealer. They did NOT roll any profit into my lease - I paid the base BMWFS MF and I bought my new car for $1k over invoice. My car had 500 miles left on the countdown to Inspection II, so I suspect CarMax docked me $1.5-$2k for that. The only work that was needed on my car was 1 wheel minor scrape repair. Otherwise my car was honestly ridiculously mint. It had been garaged the entire time - even when I went to lunch - and my Michelin Super Sports were probably still 50-75% ok. My car stickered for over $67k - EVERY option available, including the factory installed alarm. And BTW - I am leaving the dealer's name anonymous here because I have a very contact there who did me a favor on the trade-in and purchase price so if you ask I just can't tell :-)
- Good point about going 80 MPH with the understeer and suspension. I don't miss my E46's suspension at all - it was just too harsh for DD. But I do wish I had better road feel on the E93!
Feel free to ask other questions - I am glad to help. But I will be back to report on things after the BI period for sure...