740 vs S-Class
To give you an example of quality issues. I have heard for sometime now from "non-BMW" folks that BMW's don't last, that they are garbage. Well, I've had my 98 740 since purchasing new and it has about 55k miles on it now. The car is rock solid, not to mention handles like a dream with a standard suspension. There are a couple "rattle" type sounds when going over really rough pavement, but not that bad for a daily commuter car.
On the other hand, my brand new CL with 2800 miles on it, makes the same noises and probably more going over rough pavement. When I took delivery of my car, they were already building the CL for almost a year in Europe, so I thought they would have worked out any bugs.
Anyway, to make a long story short, I agree with you about purchasing a 3-series. As much as I love the 3-pointed star on the hood, and really like the style of the new C-Class, I just don't know if I could trust MB anymore.