Oops, you're right, it was the euro 325 that was the 2.5L. Anyway, I was referring to the "breakage" factor of the higher end features available to the 328 / 335 vs 323. iDrive, convenience unlock / start, etc.
What makes you say the automatic is pure shit? Otto's gave me a 2010 328i for the day last month during an oil change and it was smooth as butter. The only thing that is stupid is the sport mode, which simply does everything seemingly the same, but one gear down.
Or are you referring to maintenance / reliability?
On a side note, I've been looking at E60 M5's. Want to talk about tranmission issues, lol. One report I read said that an estimated 10% of 2006 M5 transmissions were replaced, 2% replaced *twice*.