Originally Posted by CTGuy
I have done a fair amount of driving in each model of the BMW because of being a BMWCCA member and doing ultimate drives etc. My brother actually has an Audi S4, which I think is a superb mix of power and luxury. I would actually look into the S4 as an alternative to the A6-- at least as something to test drive. It's a lot more fun to drive though it is a little smaller.
My advice is to go muy a car magazine like Top Gear that has a review of cars in your price range and then go test drive as much as possible. I say this for two reasons: 1. the differences between cars like the A6/5 Series is going to be somewhat negligible in a global sense. Which one you prefer is going to be a matter of preference, so it's hard to say over the internet what is right for you. 2. In the price range you are looking at there is a lot out there in terms of choices- hell, you could get a lotus elise.
Although less sexy, the Phaeton is a hell of a car and basically the half brother of the Bentley (also, maybe a little out of your price range). The Infiniti G45 is also a great combination of Japanese reliability and German performance.
The S4 uses up a lot more gas though than the A6...really, they are two different cars and are not really comparable. An S4 vs. an M3, now that's a more valid comparison.
And WTF happened to your self-imposed timeout?