We ordered our 325i to our specs and have put every mile on it since new. In the 11 years of ownership, the reliability has been outstanding. Regular oil changes at 9K miles or so with high quality synthetic oil and she still doesn't use oil between changes. We replaced the sport package shocks/struts & springs with Bilstein Sport shocks/struts and H&R Sport springs, which lowered the car a bit more. This is the agressive stance that the factory sport package should have provided.
Buttery smooth I-6 engine, handling and responsiveness, brakes are superb. Instrument panel layout and switch location are perfect. Routinely get 28 mpg in my commute (~32 miles one way, highway/city mix).
The newer 3er BMWs seemed to have addressed the e36 body issues with improvements in NVH and power. Factory sport package still too soft.