I completely agree with the reliability factor of BMW being far superior. I have come from a long line of RS, S, and AMG models. All of these cars had more issues than you could possibly imagine. Especially the 4.2 V8 platform from Audi.
The only time I have my M in the shop is for performance or cosmetic reasons!
This is why I went to BMW in 2010
I still dabble with the RS brand within Audi (owning a TTRS). I am very happy with vehicle so far. Is it perfect..no. Mostly from a technology standpoint and I wish the seats were better bolstered. But, the engine and tranny have been rock solid and it's never in the shop..knock on wood..ha!
Some great points being made here.. A lot of manufacturers are trying to compete with BMW in reliability. And like one of the posters mentioned, BMW is creating vehicles to compete and regain market share from the brands that have taken business away. As others have mentioned, EPA guidelines are strict these days it almost as though car makers are told how they are allowed to make their cars (except for a few brands like the new Viper as just one example).
One thing in the background not car related is the customer service from BMW. Last year BMW sent me this beautiful carbon fiber pen just as a thank you( I'm sure many of you got this as well). In all the years I've owned Audi and MB, all I get is a crappy magazine and a mass produced letter. BMW goes above and beyond in customer satisfaction. As a result you get loyalty from the customer. I know I will always have a BMW in my garage in one way or another.