One thing I've found with all the years e30, e36, e46, e39, e34 etc. is that condition has everything to do with how they feel. I've driven e36's that felt heavy, bloated slow etc. and I've driven e36's in great condition that feel light and nimble with great feedback. Same goes for e34's and e30's, e46's, and e39's. whatever
Hell for e39's I went through so many bad examples when I was looking for mine that I started to assume they all drove like shit, so I almost stopped even looking for one because I didn't want a car that drove like that. But before I did that, I decided to drive one that was several thousand above what I wanted to spend but was in mint shape, and it blew me away at how different it felt. Needless to say I stopped looking for a 'deal', and payed more for a better example, and am very happy for it.
But it just goes to show what taking care of a car means for how it feels and drives.
Which is what makes me wonder why you didn't like the e46 Jay? I've only driven two, but I quite liked both of them. Both were 330's w/sport package.