Ok, in summary for those new to this post, do not express surprise that a "german" vehicle would have such a poorly designed sunroof. It is, it always has been and the best advice is DO NOT OPERATE BMW SUNROOF if you are out of warranty. Plain and simple.
This problem has existed since the 1990's as I had a E39 that went through this same series of discussions way back then. It is rather odd that the exact same problem exists 10-15 years later and that same failures and causes continue to exist. How about some aluminum fingers that lift the roof, is that to much to ask?
2006 X3 Silver Grey/Black Lthr/Alum Trim/Sport Prem Pkg/Xenons/Servotronic/Prem Sound/Satellite Radio/Heated Seats/Carbon Fiber Pillars/Blue Tooth/Aux In/Cargo Net/Aluminum Pedals/V1 Hardwired