Originally Posted by Mako
Having said that I will be going from a C63 to the new M3 (most likely) and there is going to be a huge sound difference when firing up the car and taking off but I doubt it will stop me from making the switch, especially if performance is similar and MPG is a 50% improvement (I am getting 15 mpg) and a turbo 6 whatever should get in the low 20s combined cycle.
I was at the car wash yesterday and had a rare treat - my e92 M3 came out behind a C63 AMG and in front of an Audi RS5.
The AMG sounded, as Jeremy Clarkson said best, "Like an axe murderer" as it pulled away - so beastly. Its snorted to life and growled down the road.
I waited for the RS5 to pull in front of me and, of the 3, it sounded the most tame.
I echo your sentiment on the superior sound of the AMG cars but, after driving a few examples (C63, S63, and CL65), I prefer the driver involvement and feel of the M cars. I think the award for aesthetics goes to the RS5 but, at the end of the day, its all subjective and they all represent great options for a true enthusiast.
Assuming BMW maintains the driver DNA in the next generation models (F10 M5 and F30 M3), they'll continue to get my money regardless of the grunt bellowing from the exhaust. IMHO, sound is an easy fix whereas feel is something that has to be engineered into the chassis.