I leased my first X3 (new to the brand) in September of 2004. It had the 2.5L engine, auto trans, and many more options. I really fell in love with this wonderful machine, and was happy with my vehicle for the first time in a long time. In the spring of 2007 I got antsy and "pulled ahead" into an '07 X3 3.0 si. With a larger engine, 6 speed auto (up from 5), bluetooth, rear heated seats,adaptive xenons, and garage door opener, I thought I would be even more satisfied. Almost immediately I felt a significant change in my driving experience. The car seemed to take off like a rocket, but not in a smooth kind of way. Depressing the accelerator, I noticed nothing would happen for a beat and then a lurch forward. Hard as I tried, I could take off smoothly. I got somewhat used to this behavior. At some point I started to notice it getting worse, and also a very jerky deceleration. So now I was longing for my '04 X3, without the larger engine and fancy doodads. I had the transmission reprogrammed by the dealer no less than 3 times, and saw no lasting results. I finally gave up, and learned to tolerate this behavior. As my lease draws to a close (May 2010) I find myself looking at many different vehicles. I keep coming back to BMW and my X3. Nothing else seems to measure up for me. The size is just right. The cargo capacity and interior room also are the right size.And I could not imagine giving up my heated steering wheel in upstate NY! I was hoping for an X3 redesign for 2010, but it looks like that will happen in 2011. I have even considered a 328XI sedan or wagon. So would a 2010 X3 with a manual transmission be what I am looking for? I don't know. I do know that if I buy a vehicle from anyone other than BMW, I will probably not be satisfied. So what do others here think?