I see dozens of Phaeton every day. First generation still looks good and sell for less than BMW E60s. I just would be worried about not being able to do anything myself on the car and have to go to the dealer very often. But if you can deal with that, it's a more rational choice than most if not all luxury saloon cars.
I saw one once at the Ralph Lauren Cars exhibition in Paris. It's incredible how spartan the interior is and how everything is raced focused on this car. An incredibly beautiful piece of engineering indeed.
See racing legend Walter Röhrl driving it around the track
Probably the 6 was the best and easiest to steal in the neighbourhood and appealed to some drug trafficker or something. Some not so knowledgeable thief might have thought this is an invaluable classic. They didn't have key recognition back then did they?
Anyway, what a shame.
I am thinking of hiding an Android phone in my car, plug it an external GPS antenna and install the Cerberus app that lets you find your mobile anywhere with an sms activation. If I ever lose the car or it gets stolen, I'd know exactly where it is in minutes. The cost of this, if you choose an used Motorola Defy is about 60€. Worth it.
Still one of my dream car. Just a very bad idea if you can't afford spending a lot of money in it.
I would love to be a good mechanic eventually and modify it how I think BMW should have made it (supercar instead of grand tourer, think M8 prototype).