Actually no guys, I hadn't run the 'clanky' sound past my indie yet. The sound I'm hearing is coming more form the handle/strike plate area than from the check strap area (although I do have a small squeak coming from the check strap, which graphite powder didn't fix).
With car's increased useage (i.e. opening and closing doors more frequently) in my hands, as opposed to the PO (8k mi in 3 years of ownership), the 'clanking' seems to be getting less noticable - or I'm more used to it
. My assumption was that grease/lube had hardened/settled with such light use, but is now getting re-worked into the crevices as the mechanism is being used more.
I'd still like to get the nice dampened 'thunk' that I know they can have (my driver's side door is this way). I may just run it by the dealer for the 'lube and inspection of doors/trunk/hood' since it's probably only a drop or two of grease in the right spots and 60 seconds of time to make them all like new.
I will say rmesteller, these cars are awesome. With very few niggling exceptions regarding dated ergonimics, I can't see being dissapointed with this car for a very long time. I opted for the V8 because
of the lack of major issues being common. Heat is it's biggest enemy and you'll do very well by using synthetic oil and keeping the cooling system well maintained. The most respected techs here have commented frequently that the m119 is one of the best, most durable V8's ever made. Plus, how can you resist the sound when firing up that baby and stepping on it!