Originally Posted by ptack
Ha, interesting problem. You suspect a 135i will get you more trouble, but you get trouble because you appreciate performance. A 128i will definitely meet your needs, but only if you do not test drive a 135i. If you do that you're doomed for trouble, lots of trouble.
Haha, well, when you put it that way...
To be more accurate, I love a good-handling car. With it usually comes a fair amount of power, and it's the power that tends to get me in trouble. I have no problem with how much power the GTI has (it's completely stock)--it's all in the handling, and even at that, it's really just the balance of the car (it's good--for FWD, which isn't even close to a 50/50 RWD car like the Oner).
As for the 135, I've driven a few, as I have the 128. Yeah, there's no question, the 135 is stupid fast. Way faster than the 128. I haven't driven them back to back, but I didn't get out of the 128 wanting more for power. And I didn't get out of the 135 dying to have it (it's deceptive really, because as quick as it is, I didn't personally notice just how quick until I looked at the speedometer).
I'd almost definitely buy the 128. The 135, I'd have a hard time buying mostly out of fear of what might come up 4+ years down the road (and even dealing with the hassle of getting the car to my closest dealer, 45 minutes away, if something happens in warranty).
Thanks to all for the comments. Keep 'em coming.