thanks for the comments guys. regarding the 'proper' range rover suggestion, i went to look at one, and it is definitely much bigger than what i think i need. it's not a direct comparison to the X5 or Cayenne at all. the range rover sport was very nice, but the reliability aspect worries me a bit. it's a new brand that i'm unfamiliar with.
i also went to look at the Cayenne in person and found the car to be very sporty. perhaps so sporty that it feels like a compromise to comfort and space. i.e., i almost immediately lost interest in it, and it made me want to look at the Carrera 4S and the GT3 RS that was on the lot. i found my interest wandering away from the Cayenne and into a 'real' Porsche, as the dealer put it.
finally, i stopped by BMW to see the good old X5. while i know what to expect out of the X5 as far as reliability, the interior really seems lackluster to me. reminded me of the feeling i had when i first saw the E9X interior. that feeling eventually went away, but overall the dash and console are a bit boring. the performance and comfort are all there though.
for a little while i really thought i would pick the cayenne based on so much good feedback, but after sitting in it, i'm not sure i like it. will continue to think about what i really want.
2012 Range Rover Sport Autobiography :: Sumatra Black|Tan.Ebony
2008 BMW ///M3 :: Space Gray|Black