I thought I would make a follow up post to this thread.
I came here after deciding to get an X3, and as a first time BMW buyer. I found it strange that after consulting three BMW dealers and BMWNA, that I could not find satisfactory answers relating to the options I was considering. The BMW establishment unanimously agreed that as a potential buyer, I was entitled to understand what I was buying for 60K, but somehow could not provide it.
So I came here and found what I needed to know to make the final option selections, and I thank you all for that.
But as the thread progressed it was clear that there is an amazing lack of official specification to many issues that we are all interested in. Maybe BMW has such a great engineered product that they don't care about these details, but I certainly think they should.
I'm now 16 pages deep in the X3 topic, and find it an extremely useful and informative, but still there are questions I would like to ask the BMW design team.
I won't propose that they hire a new VP of Technical Marketing because there is a far more simple and effective solution.
I would suggest that BMW assign a mid level engineer in every product group to spend an hour or two each week to review the relevant forums and post accurate answers to our questions. We would take care of referring new questions to old answers like always, and it should not be much impact on BMW. This is not a new idea, many tech companies leverage their technical support staff by assigning them to patrol important user forums. Win win for everyone.
Again, thanks to all for helping me order my first BMW.