I've had the 2007 530i with manual transmission for about a month. What a great car! Test drove the automatic but it wasn't quite as fun to drive. The handling, ride quality, and acceleration simply brings a huge smile on my face. Like other reviewers, I always take the long way home. I have owned Lexus and Volvo and there is no comparison. This is truly a driver's car. If you really enjoy driving, this is your car. Also, I am averaging 28.5 mpg combined driving (another plus for getting the manual transmission).
The smooth and powerful engine. Although rated at only 255 hp, it feels and accelerates better than other brands comparable engines. Smooth shifting 6-speed manual transmission. Exterior styling is nice - I personally think it is the best looking car BMW produces.
The navigation system is not quite as good as the Lexus. Cupholders do need improvement. The iDrive is easy to learn, but makes changing sound controls unnecessarily cumbersome.