1st->2nd is a bitch with that gearbox. Being at the right revs helps but doesn't solve it, and in a quick car matching the revs can as you said Del mean you're making far more progress than you want to be or else driving like a kangaroo.
This is of course not something specific to any of the cars the Zf 6MT is fitted to. It's a characteristic of the box itself. Even my 320d was very bad for it with a meagre 200bhp, just the affect was a bit less noticable that way...
But I'd drive another 6 speed manual BM for sure given the opportunity. The 335d only came as auto or I'd never switched and though I don't miss the manual in traffic, it's so much more engaging to drive a proper manual than an auto box. Paddles or no paddles. IMHO!
If I get an M2 and manual is an option I'm taking it I think..
Previously: 2003 Peugeot 206 1.6 8v | 2006 E90 320d M-Sport, 19" BBS CH, Full Ice-cold JL audio install, August 2010 Total BMW 6 page feature car. | 2003 Nissan 350Z GT Coupe 286BHP
Now:2010 E92 LCI 335d M-Sport