The 2001 and 2002 M roadsters are unique in their absolute driving performance. The engine is sublime and the car can out run just about anything on the road. From a roll, from a launch, or on the freeway it just runs away. Most everyone underestimates the car and I have yet to see a car (even new models of corvette, SRT8s, camaros, etc) that can even keep close. The car can break the tires free shifting into any gear but is so balanced that there is no loss of control or fishtailing. If you think your current car is fast and handles well you should drive one of these to compare.
I fell in love with this car the day I saw it, and I am still in love with it. However, I did encounter as well endless quality problems... anything from door locks, seat belt, noises to fuel pump and main computer... Have been in and out of the dealership every month and had to tow 3-4 times. Having this car out of warranty can kill you. On the other hand, the shape of it is unique: I am sure a few years down the road it will become a classic, especially considering the small number of 2001/2002 produced.
Performance is outstanding but quality issues plague this car (and everyone else I know with the Z3/M has issues too). Don't know why no BMW owners will step up to the workmanship & quality issues. My son's Hyundai was bought at the same time, has twice them miles on it and never sees the dealer. I was a regular. Glad the lease is over and it's gone. Going back to Japanese sports car or Corvette.
If you are considering buying this car, good luck finding it for the dealer retail or private party value on Edmunds. If you do find it at that price, it's a lemon. These cars are rare and worth the premium! Mine is a Laguna Seca w/13K miles. Build quality issues not yet encountered but I did previously own an 00 M Roadster and a 2003 M3 Conv and agree the M Roadster did have more quality problems (last one had 70K miles). M3 did not have such problems. It's funny watching Porsche Boxter S's disappear in the review ;-) Gorgeous, rare, stunning appearance, gobs of power at high revs (downshifts needed @ high speeds, could use a 6sp but still a fantastic ride) - grab one if you see one!
From a price/fun ratio this is THE perfect car. What can go faster, quicker for $35K? Nothing without nitrous. The car fits like a glove and flies like a fighter jet. First time drivers of the M will drop their jaws at the performance.