This is the first BMW I've ever bought. Before I had all Japanese sports cars that were very nice. When I was shopping around for the 740, I knew that these cars are expensive and known to have issues. Bought mine w/ 100k miles from original owner with all service records. After 2k miles, the alternator failed. Paid $400 for a rebuild one directly from Bosch and fixed it myself. It is true that this car is expensive to maintain but if you work on it yourself (thanks to e38.org writeups), you will save a lot of money. The bottom line is that this car is simply amazing and worth every penny that you spend on it. The feeling you get while driving in this spaceship is unexplainable.
Now I understand why they call it the ultimate driving machine! Fast, comfortable, beautiful, full of soul and character! Timeless look, interior designed with the driver in mind, high quality leather, dash, etc. (not like American cars, when you knock on dash you hear a hollow, plastic sound).
Front cup holders are useless, instrument cluster pixels burn out.