Thanks all - it's around US$12k more for the DCT, which I'm ok to spend up on as I would like a car that I'm really going to like for awhile. This is how confused I am, as I'm also thinking of a late 05 E46 M3 priced in between the 335 step and DCT. ...
Then again am tempted to cut to the chase now and step up to the 09 M3 (esp after reading the M3 posts here!) which is my dream car, instead of gradually getting to it with the 335 or E46.
Basically looking for a second car (already have X5) to get to/from work without leaving wife carless.