Well, thank's all for your advice in my earlier post. The one I mentioned there (98 328i w/ 65k miles) got sold from under me. BUT, something better always comes along!
Picked up a '97 328is last week. Only got 36k miles on her. 5-speed, black with tan int., beautiful shape. Been driving it for a week almost now and love it! B)
Thanks again for the encouragement, i'll be lurking around reading the advice and chiming in when I have anything worthwhile to say
guess i need to change my user name now ...