Coming from a turbo track car
Lots of good advice offered: test drive everything, make a decision that can be sustained, don't have any regrets...
I'm coming from a perspective of selling my Porsche track car last month and picking up a 2011 128i last weekend at the advice of a friend. It's my first BMW and nearly half the torque of the modified 911 turbo. I had that car for eight years and loved it. Too much for the street though as a daily driver, and I need a real back seat for the new daughter. A compromise I needed to make for now.
Still getting used to the car and so far pleased with the engine, transmission and M upgrades. Xenons as well but no heated seats or sunroof, premium or convenience package-- but the price was right for a lightly used new car with only 6K miles from a private sale (less than $29K). Really nothing else out there at that price to tempt me with warranty and maintenance covered.
Looking forward to getting rid of the run flats. Probably going to 18" wheels and seeing what will fit under the fenders. The intake, exhaust and tune (or box) look like what I will need to get the handling and feel (and throttle response) that I am looking for. Nothing major is of interest, and I don't want issues with the warranty, so getting to know the car in stock form well.
With the DTC properly turned off it responds well to throttle inputs, winding through the tach and rewarding enough. Plenty of usable power for the street and soon to be tested in the mountains.
No regrets so far. Hopefully I'll get to meet some of the 1 series gurus in the ATL area...