Very interesting thread. Very interesting...
As an impartial observer with no particular affinity for brands (BMW, M-B, M, AMG, etc...) I have identified two types of sadness in this thread:
1. Individuals who so desperately aspire to attain a simple material possession that they will slap a sticker or a badge in the hopes of attaining self-fulfillment at the expense of one's own dignity.
2. Individuals who have the real thing and (i) believe that this is a source of pride and (ii) believe that having the real thing is the correct path to self-actualization (i.e. those who look down on Individual 1 because they have the real thing and believe they are entitled to judgment based on this fact alone).
What unites both of these deplorable types of individuals is that they are slaves to the badge and to the marketing. And that, above all, is very sad - the would go for an "M" badge regardless of the merit of the vehicle. I claim that neither are true enthusiasts (one a poser, one a loser). Those who take pleasure in the vehicle itself and equate greatness with their own objective analysis, those are the true enthusiasts (like many who contribute to these forums).