There has always been overlaps like these that isn't limited to Porsche. Price a fully-loaded 335i and it'll climb to the same price as an M3, same with Audi and Mercedes. This is where Japanese luxury cars like Lexus and Infiniti becomes a bargain, for the same or more power (albeit not as great when it comes to driving dynamics), a little bit less in price but they are loaded with standard features that are pretty damn reliable too.
this was the driving force behind me getting a japanese car. there's no doubt bmw rules the roost in driving dynamics but it's $10k+ more when you factor in add-ons. plus as soon as the bmw warranty runs out, you better sell the car, return the lease, or have a mini fortune stored away just in case b/c repairs are very expensive.
oh good to know. i'll have to read up on the reviews from europe to see the general consensus. the mini is the obvious choice for a small urban car but it's a little too common around here.