I just bought a 2008 loaded Lexus IS350 w/7,000 miles...this is my 5th Lexus, the others being SUV's, but have also owned 3 BMW's, including a wonderful M3. The IS350 is a great car. 98% of my driving is city, suburb or highway and it performs flawlessly. If I drove major "twisties" everyday, maybe I would have bought another BMW, but few of us have the "true" abilities to push either Lexus or BMW to their honest limits... It has 90% of the BMW capabilities, IMHO, plus a quieter ride, better interior, better exterior, more reliability and at least an equal resale value. It doesn't scream "look at me"...hey, even the engine and muffler are quiet, but power is vastly available when you want it.
* Interior features / comforts (+ Nav) * Engine. Major power. * Resale value and reliability * Comfortable ride for hours * Exterior stance. * 18 inch wheels - graphite. * Overall Lexus quality... been loving THAT for years. * Not "everyone" has one. A little more exclusivity.
* Little bigger back seat. * Manual transmission option. Accept it for what it is...it's a Lexus, and a fine one at that. Stop comparing it to "everything else" and see how it stacks up to your criteria. It's a very fine vehicle that puts a smile on my face everyday. Best wishes in your search