The mirrors are definitely painted, and I'd check to make sure that the car hasn't been (or if it has, that it wasn't to cover bondo and rust!) My wifes car is an auto, w/251k on it now, and it shifts/drives very well, though others have had problems with the auto. The manual trans swap isn't that difficult, and I'd sooner buy a clean auto car and swap it rather than rust repairs on a 5-speed car.
1998 328i "M-tech"
2001 TDI Golf. 1300km/tank commuter. Boring, slow, cheap.
1991 P-car: 964c4 Let the porcupine jokes commence.
Gone: '99 M3 vert, '98 M3 sedan, '91 E30, '89 E30, '87 E30, '91 Euro M5, '93 6-speed Corvette, STI v8 swapped '98 Impreza, '73 2002, 2004 325iT