I agree, it's sad to see most people driving around in cars they don't really own or are leasing in order to afford them. BTW I never have to do a timing belt on my BMW, which is considered regular maintenance on say a Camry every 100k miles at a cost of 600 to 800 USD. Really depends on what you want out of a car. I do like the idea of having a vehicle that is "below the radar", though. How about a Subaru Legacy GT?!
Imagine the interest, or even worse, risking losing a home to just buy a car. I realize many on here can afford it, and even are those that don't care about showing off. To me, I care more about a car holding up, and not spending a lot and getting far less than I expected on quality and repairs. I simply do not have the time getting cars fixed. Nice days arrive, and it's either in the shop or in the garage incapacitated. That doesn't impress me or the ones that don't see me driving around in it, if that's my purpose to start with.
How about a new world class Cadillac sedan with a Corvette motor and manual trans? I have had zero issues with new Corvettes. The drivetrains are exceptional and don't break. The sedan would be a great family vehicle compromise for room. Great handling as well. I think BMW is too bland in styling and high cost.
High cost depends on where you are. A Corvette outside North America is not cheap at all. To buy, insure, pay road user charges (based on CO2 emissions), or repair.
This gen Corvette is. I have seen them as low as 2500. I maintain it's well worth the wait to buy a 98 up in the teens C5 era. I learned this after owning Corvettes since 1986.
I see you are from the USA, but the summary stats for your car say it's done 160,000 km, not miles. Not sure if that's actually miles, or the web site has converted your 100,000 miles to 160,000 km.
Anyhow, my sympathies, because I suspect from your list of faults that this particular example of yours had a rough life early on. Most of the items would be consistent with the car being belted over gravel roads or similar??? Jeep territory??? Even at 160,000 miles I'd be raising my eyebrows at some of your car's issues, but if it's only 160,000 km, something is not right here and you have reason to be grumpy with previous owners, rather than BMW.
Personally, I think the build quality of the E39 is outstanding. Normally, even after more than a decade and 100,000 miles, doors shut with the 'thunk' of a bank vault, and the suspension still performs way ahead of most competitors when new.
The key to these cars is steady, common sense maintenance from the get-go, and high quality tyres. That won't fix past neglects, but once things are brought up to standard, it'll last amazingly.
Having said that, you have to treat them more like the thoroughbred they are, than just a donkey out in the back paddock, which is part of your point, I guess. And they'll reward you accordingly.
When the next bill comes, just remember, no Camry driver ever had reason to break into a stupid grin on account of how his car just clung to a tight 70 mph bend that was sign-posted 50, and made him want to turn around and do it all over again, just to feel that much alive!