After much deliberation, research, test driving everything and driving my wife totally crazy I pulled the trigger and went for my a loaded 08' This is my 2nd E60 M5, my 4th M car and my 6th BMW since 99’ with only one wife-priceless! In the end there was simply no other choice. IMHO the current M5 is the perfect car. My previous car had most of the desirable options; HUD, active seats, IPOD, Sirius etc. this car has all options but HD radio and high beam assist. This combined with the updates and improvements makes for a significantly different interior experience providing a more upscale and luxurious felling. The one exception being the bright shiny chrome trim around the gear selector-that needs to go.
Comfort seats with perforated leather and ventilation are really incredible. We put a couple hundred miles on today with zero fatigue. This is the most significant upgrade for me.
A close second is the much improved Idrive system in terms of speed, responsiveness and usefulness. My 06 was like using an old Win98 box that was constantly two steps behind my input. Also now when you select items the settings popup on the screen and then time out.
The premium audio is also greatly improved with much better resolution and balance. Sounds like we went from soft dome tweeters to a metal. Also the system is less boomy more refined and less processed sounding. So far the default settings sound really good.
Ipod Integration again is much improved in terms of speed and usefulness. Now when you navigate up/back you are brought back to where you left off not to the top of the list. With 10,000 + songs from hundreds if not thousands of artists this makes the Ipod usable.
One thing to note here is if you have volume limited you will get low noisy output. I was using my sons Nano and it sounded awful. It took me a couple minutes to figure this out.
One other item that appears to be resolved is I no longer notice the wind noise from the sunroof. And speaking of the sunroof you can now close it just like the windows when the car is off.
I installed my V1 using the very helpful info in this post-no more splicing into power wires. It took less than 10min! http://www.m5board.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=110595&highlight=V1
Overall the car feels more solid and is clearly quieter.
Comfort access and soft close doors are currently a bit of novelty but may provide some future value once we become acclimated.
All for now thanks for everyone’s input and insight.