The car is the ultimate driving machine. The year it came out it was the named the best handling car, in cars ranging in price of 30,000 and above. It is the car to which all others look to as a benchmark.
I've driven in a heavily modded Mitsubishi Eclipse that handled very similar. Audi's S4's have very good handling, but not on par with M3's. There are so many m3 wannabe killers out in todays market. However, handling is the one characteristic that can't be touched. The handling is second to none.
The acceleration is pretty good. 0 to 60 in 5.5 s with a manual, about 14 flat in the 1/4 mile. There is a large aftermarket scene for M3's from Schnitzer to Dinan. If you want to make your M3 go faster, turbo and supercharger kits are available.
I've owned a 1988 Porsche 944 turbo and my M3 was a refreshing change. Not only is it quick and the handling is phenomenal. The dependability of the car is above average for a German sport/sedan. No turbo problems, no problems with timing belt. The in-line 6 engine is bullet proof. Hardly any problems. I spent 4,000.00 in 2 months on my Porsche. The car is a money pit.
Probably the only negative aspect about the BMW M3 is the interior. It's not on par with Lexus, Audi, or even Saab's. The interior is spartan, but dooable. I suggest getting a good stereo and enjoy the drive. There are no little neat devices like I've seen in Saab's and Audis.