Do you guys ever read Bimmer magazine?
I remember reading one of the buyer's guide/market updates once where Mike Miller was ranting about 'lifetime' fill fluids, extended oil change intervlas and whatnot. Basically he was saying that BMW started doing that at the same time they started offering free maintenance for the warranty period, and that he's not buying it.
Apparently all cars used to get a 1200 mile break-in oil change. After free maintenance came in they only did it on M cars anymore. I think that the article in question must have been about E46s, because I seem to remember him chalking up the excessive oil consumption of many 3.0L M54s to the lack of a break-in oil change. I don't remember the details of why this would happen, but that always stuck in my mind. The OPs situation reminded me of it.