Leasing reminds me of the old Cary Grant quote about ladies of the evening: "You pay them to leave...."
Yes leasing is predictable, and it is simple, but it is more expensive over the long run. I'd rather pay now than later.
The problem is that I know what the 540 needs, and I am simply getting tired of working on this car. I never had the chance to get on top of things, and I'll be damned if I am going to pay someone else to do it -- that would just lead to more money than a replacement would cost.
Admittedly, my requirements are a pain -- I need room, as I am built like an offensive lineman (that's a whole other thing I need time to work on), and I am tired of stupid stuff breaking.
There are a lot of things that the Japanese have figured out how to do cheaply and reliably, and there is no -- zero -- excuse for these parts to go as fast as they do, especially given what BMW charges. On the E39, see the mass airflow sensor, window regulators, wiper relays and cooling systems.
But you know what the saddest thing is? I look at BMWs in the Auto Trader, and get all melty when I sit in them at Otto's. I don't think that there's a cure for these things.