I was in the same boat, I was looking at 335 and 135's even. I just read entirely too much about sub frames cracking, broken wheels, turbos, blown engines and I figured I would never want to cope with the cost of BMW parts out of warranty. I have a few friends, ranging from 3k to nearly 20k miles on new STI's without a single issue in regard to ring lands or any engine failure for that matter. While I think it is an issue to consider and be aware of, it may not be quite as prevalent as forum searches would lead you to believe. I have just over 9k miles on my 11 and no problems to speak of, sometimes some finicky Bluetooth connections or little rattles but nothing I can't live with. I know what you mean with the age of people driving them, I'm 30 and it seems I'm out of place haha. I still have the wing on as well, as ostentatious as it may be! I'd be comfortable saying I'd do the same again if faced with that choice, it is fun, cheap to own, and I don't writhe thinking about it in parking lots like it has BMW or Benz priced paint and body work. The biggest thing is getting a decent dealer to let you test drive it properly. For what it is worth, my friend has an 11 sedan that has a tune and has been telling me to do it asap, as he valued it that much. Maybe find a friendly dealer that won't give you trouble over an AP type tune, as he managed to, and then no worries.