A coworker has a 2002 M3 with SMG, and decked out for everything except heated seats and nav. I asked for a ride, and he was generous enough to give me a chance to drive the car through it's paces! The only mods it has are lowering springs, everything else is stock. I've got to say that I simply love the SMG gearing and paddle shifters on the steering wheel! It's so damn impressive and amazing at the same time. I ran it up to 115mph in a very short stretch of highway before I even knew I was going so fast. And it was very stable. What a great car! There was some hesitation/jerkiness when the accel. was floored in S5 and S6, but he had said that was normal with the operation of the SMG. At slower speeds with the accel half pressed it was barely noticeable. Still a great drive, and it hugged the road just as nice as my Cooper S. A bit heavier, but the engine really made up for it in acceleration and power. I can believe what people say that with some engine mods and tuning, the M3 is a killer road machine. Wow. I don't think I'll be trading in my Cooper S for an M3 at this time (simple finances), but DAMN.. I can see why there's so much love for the M3!