There's a 30 thousand dollar difference between the E36 he's looking at and a new E46. That might be something to consider If he's got that much money, just get the E36 M3 AND the STIOriginally posted by 2004JadeSTi
If you're even considering a BMW M3, hold out and drop the extra coin for a E46 M3. Believe me, if you spend that much on a E36 as the price you've stated, you'll regret it SO much. Aside from the nearly 100hp bump in power, you'll get more goodies and a newer platform.
Not to say you shouldn't get the STi, I love mine more and more everyday, but if you go the bratwurst route, get the E46.