Hello Eric - I am also an X5 owner -mine is a 2002 4.4i 8 cyl automatic
having been a member of various forums (lately) for the X5 - i have found out - alot of X5 Owners are DIYers -meaning that they are handy with tools
and do alot of repairs themselves - I am not myself so i share the same concerns as you do in regard to repairs and it being worth it
my X has 166K on it - and so far i have no issues - but it is OLD and they do need upkeep which costs $$$$
so i would suggest to either learn to DIY as much as you can do and find a good indy (independant repair man)
going to the dealer is the LAST thing i would do as everything with them is like triple the cost -so their $8K suggestion may only be about $3-4K at an indy
lookinto the things that need to get done and get familiar with folks on these forums (Xoutpost.com is great also) as they are very helpful and often will
suggest helping you out with their time and helping you repair something - real nice bunch of people on both these forums - with lotsa info to share as well!!
Best of luck and i hope you decide to keep your X5 as they are alot of fun to drive and nice looking too
"EVERY FORM OF REFUGE HAS IT'S PRICE"
2002 4.4i BMW X5 - 166K Topaz Blue Ext/ Tan/Beige Leather Int
1994 Nissan Pathfinder SE 132K Black Ext / Grey Leather Int